Guy Fawkes Day. - Poem by Michael Walker
Today is Guy Fawkes Day,
the fifth of November again,
although the fireworks started
weeks ago and will continue
for most of this hot month.
Outside my bedroom I can hear
crackling, bangs like gunshots,
the rapid fire of jumping jacks,
like the stutter of a machine gun.
I hear, now and then, the swoosh
of sky rockets on their trajectory
across the night before the fall.
Even so, this continual orchestra
is not something I can't cope with.
'It's just background noise, '
I tell myself, 'just ignore it.'
As a child, I used to take part
in Guy Fawkes celebrations
that had a bonfire and a 'guy'-
which was burned as an effigy-
and every firecracker money could buy.
getting my fingers burnt, hearing loss
or even losing that precious eyesight,
never crossed my mind: I escaped injury,
even though crackers were lit near me.
There were occasional, brave campaigns
to ban fireworks and Guy Fawkes itself.
The attempts, doomed by mass media clout,
flared up, boomed a while, but fizzled out.
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