The sweet, irritating smell of freshly cut grass circulates the mini barnyard. Chickens strut among dirt, eggs, and droppings. The peck at invisible feed and rage chicken battles inside the coop. The guineas, fat and loud, zip around, honking their beaks. The rooster crows over and over, showing off his feathers next to the wire mesh pen. Ducks bathe in a bowl of water, splish-splashing in all directions. Baby goats bleat from the arms of children as Mama Goat watches with lazy eyes, chewing grass, dirt, and wood. With umbilical cords still attached, the goats nuzzle necks, chins, and arms. They kick their legs and scream out to run free.
The frozen yogurt at the bottom of the paper bowl slowly melts, dripping in between the cardboard divider, the flavors of cold dairy dessert swirling together in shades of white and brown. The toppings sit atop the mountainous mounds of cold cream, awaiting consumption. Hot fudge drips into the marshmallow, which slips into the ice cream blend. Laughs, covered faces, and the chitter of a child’s voice surround the quiet sidewalk tables. The air is warm, the sun is hot, and the sky dreams of cloudless skies.
Disbelief at the mediocre show of lights against the sky and booms echoing in the dome of the atmosphere pave the return trip to the car. Passing by eyes of cars, beaming through the dark, and moving as one clump of bodies, the walk drags and the car ride dregs. But then the dark barnyard is soon filled with laughter, crackling fire, and goats bleating in frantic disarray. The night wanes as marshmallows are passed around the carefully constructed firewood stack. Sparklers light up the dark like magic wands. Shrouded in smoke, the sparks burn bright and sizzle into various shades of yellows, pinks, and greens.
Greedy for more, Gandalf lights tubes that zip into the air and spray silver showers down. Caught under a dome of light fire, shadows stand in awe, jumping at every pop, boom, crackle. Lights fly out from the ground, spraying in all directions. Rockets go for liftoff and land among leaves instead of stars. Small sparks boom. Big sparks fizzle. The wizards work hard for the oohs and ahs and excited cheers of smiling faces.
The night grows thin
Shielded in ringlets of smoke and beauty
The day ends in silence.