William Logan

July 4th
January 22, 2020 Logan William

July 4th


Tarred roads starting to buckle,
dogs crawling to exile
beneath porches, bird cry stilled


after the racket, racket, racket of June,
I kneed into the branches
of the heavy-waisted maple


commanding the front yard
like some guard tower of Troy.
Blood-red fire-trucks


rolled thuggishly down the Point,
followed by medaled platoons
of wavering veterans, police in snowy


summer dress, dead-eyed public
servants—hands clasped above
their heads or waving to crowds


that cheered as the defeated do.
I would have cheered, too,
had they not reminded me


of the Greeks, most heroes
dead, hardly one not battle scarred,
taking their victory lap


as Achilles had done,
and from their chariots throwing candy
to the children of the Troia.

William Logan’s writes poetry and a little criticism. He has published eleven books of poetry and eight books of essays and reviews. Logan has received, among other honors, the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry, the Staige D. Blackford Prize for Nonfiction, the inaugural Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry Criticism, the Corrington Medal for Literary Excellence, the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award, and the Allen Tate Prize.  He lives with the poet and artist Debora Greger in Gainesville, Florida, and Cambridge, England.