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Between the Rockets and the Songs: A New Year’s Poem by Martín Espada

As we say goodbye to 2016 and usher in a New Year, acclaimed poet Martín Espada shares one of his beautiful works, capturing a perfect moment between a father and a son.

Between the Rockets and the Songs

New Year's Eve, 2003

The fireworks began at midnight,

golden sparks and rockets hissing

through the confusion of trees above our house.

I would prove to my son, now twelve,

that there was no war in the sky, not here,

so we walked down the road

to find the place where the fireworks began.

We swatted branches from our eyes,

peering at a house where the golden blaze

dissolved in smoke. There was silence,

a world of ice, then voices rose up

with the last of the sparks, singing,

and when the song showered down on us

through the leaves we leaned closer, like trees.

Rockets and singing from the same house, said my son.

We turned back down the road,

at the end of the year, at the beginning of the year,

somewhere between the rockets and the songs.

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