Happy Fourth of July (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Happy Fourth of July (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Fourth of July poem

Happy Fourth of July

I grew up on Independence Blvd,
weaving crepe paper streamers
in my bicycle spokes
for 4th of July children’s parades
prior to a picnic and fireworks.
I treasured early
the self-evident truths
of all people being created equal,
but I loved my own independence
so much I was flagrant about it.
I was an atheist, absolutely adamant
that I’d only be dependent on myself.
Like our nation, I believed I could be
a mountain or an island
and exist all on my own.
I prized liberty,
that license of freedom,
and devil-may-care attitude
that confuses the blessings
of shared community with the
constraints of competition
and jockeying for control.

Now that I pledge allegiance
only to the one, infinite,
all-inclusive, good God,
which translates us
automatically and mercifully
into one beloved family,
I am more interested
in global survival,
and the universal,
golden rule
applied with reverent,
interfaith diversity,
bringing harmony,
solidarity, and joy,
than I am in
the ridiculous
hubris of autonomy,
so supercilious
in its superiority.
I look out instead
on behalf of everyone
rather than defiantly
focusing on securing
my own turf.

This year, because of
a worldwide pandemic,
the annual firecracker race
will not run by our house.
So much has been
cancelled in fact that
any question of whether
we’re unified as
is no longer doubted.
Meanwhile, black lives
rightfully demand that those
self-evident truths be practiced
as more than empty, futile words.
Indeed, God has provided
ubiquitous dominion
and the ability to reflect
omnipotent sovereignty
to everyone, including–
and especially–
to all those
different from each other
in every conceivable way.

Clearer than ever,
we understand our independence
is about peaceable and intelligent
integrated dependence,
which is only assured
by our mutual, impartial,
God-given place in the whole,
compassionate and unconditional,
since we are in this all together.
The world is too small now
for anything other than
open, trustworthy collaboration
and tenderly, reciprocally
upholding the nature of both
the earth and one another.

Let’s declare
our independence today
from egotism, self-importance,
defensiveness, narcissism,
and division.
Let’s come together
globally and individually
to heal, restore, respect,
love, and protect.

by Polly Castor

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Joseph D Herring 4 years ago

    Today we are experiencing what was not obvious in the Jeffersonian ” all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” It’s not obvious that an intrinsic tension exists between equality and liberty. Responses to the Covid 19 virus often provide ample proof of that tension . “I’m not going to trade my freedom for your security.” We have made progress in achieving racial equality since 1776, but recent events show that we have a long way to go. The tension between equality and liberty is so clear that it’s often invisible. Let’s continue to keep liberty from degenerating into the chaos of absolute individualism, and equality from serving as a high sounding slogan.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      LOVE this sentence: “The tension between equality and liberty is so clear that it’s often invisible.” Thank you.

  2. John gregory 4 years ago

    Amen…you preach the truth….always appropriate.

  3. LOREE A. OGAN 4 years ago

    wonderful poem

  4. Gillian Smith 4 years ago

    Hear Hear, Polly – not only in the sense that I agree, I agree, but also in the sense of Listen! Listen!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      Love that. Hugs to you!

  5. Sue Krevitt 4 years ago


    “Tis writ on earth, on leaf and flower,
    Love hath one race, one realm, one power.”

    Mary Baker Eddy

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