Plastic was the motif. Tablecloth, forks, and cups. Hot dogs and Barq’s. Cheese puff stained fingers and short pants. Plastic coolers filled with ice and beer. Sparklers that spit sulfur on angel food cake until children could swipe them away. Those old enough to know that there was no harm in the spark running the young into hysterics.
Beloved, the plastic boats we ran with, alongside the creek bank. Shouting, sprinting, tumbling through the vine tangled bank to that great arch bridge. To the winner went the falcon, coveted, heavy, lifted overhead with both hands. Flawless.
I’m told that there are places where you can watch lead falcons fall from the sky. The gold paint is often still wet when they fall. Paint flecks and drops a comet trail from behind. A heavy thud resounds when they hit the ground. A sound that signals a stoppage in time, a quick hand that can steal the will with the breath. That, I suppose, is what the beer was for.