She used to come to see us when she was little,
Running around in the dusk in the parking lot
Outside of town.
She loved us then, and was impatient in her waiting,
Sitting on the parking curb with the sparklers
All burned up.
We came then, and she both feared and thrilled to us,
As we burst our globes and fountains and trees
Of light and colour.
She saw us one year in Columbus from a distance,
As her Dad drove the car along the outerbelt
While we exploded.
We were strange shapes then – ringed planets and UFOs,
And smiley faces that disappeared gradually
Into the night sky.
She grew old enough to become impatient with us
As we came in mere ones and twos and threes
Above Plain City.
She grew older still and drove the busy streets early
Into Columbus with her youth group, and set up their chairs
Along the curb.
We filled the sky that night, and burst inside her heart
With our light and noise, and the sheer volume
Of our presence.
But she had changed, and something had broken inside her,
And we tore away a curtain that protected her
She feared a lot of things that got inside her then,
Not just us, but perfect music and friends and things that she
Was meant to love.
She came again to see us in Columbus, and never
Told even herself about what had happened
That first time.
But she stopped seeking us out so eagerly,
And for a few years watched us from a distance,
If at all.
It was in Plain City that we finally saw her again,
Sitting on the firehouse lawn with her new husband,
Her hand in his.
She was preoccupied that year, and she forgot
The evening before too long, but we didn't hurt her
She was in Indiana a year later, a new place
For us and her, but not for us and her newest siblings,
Who loved us.
They brought her along to watch us, driving
In the big van to the park, where she remembered
That she was excited.
And we came again to her there in twos and threes,
So she could trace our flight from the ground
To the top.
And we shattered our brilliance into the sky
For her and the people that she loved as she sat again
With her husband.
She was newer when she came to us again,
And her heart could love us again and thrill
To our transient beauty.
She was dazzled and happy when we were done,
Not broken now, or afraid, or busy hiding herself
From what she loved.