Fireflies

Brennen McDowell

 

fireflies are doomed to poetry and children.

anything can that create light from itself

deserves verse

and

isnt smashing them on the ground

and taking their glow out of them

some sort of fun

or the baseball bat homerun hit

they make a nice flick sound

on contact

and boy

if boys dont like killing bugs

they wouldnt be much use

for moms.

 

but me

i was never able to do it

i couldnt swing

or

make that ping

if something is so beautiful

alive,

turning on and off

then

what good is murder

for one second

of wow

against a nighttime of

earth stars twinkling

 

as other kids hit them

making shooting stars

I shrugged

and saw one

who held his light too long

(he only wanted to pass the torch)

and caught him

across my fingers

his tickling toes

trecked

so gentle and nice

he was okay with me

and I was okay with him.

then he flew off my fingertips

immediately

struck down with a bat

and a laugh.

 

this summer it was dark

I realized now why

the fireflies that were left

packed their bags

and lit out,

snuffed refugees

from a time

when the summer air held stars,

and the sky

was but a trying reflection

of heaven on earth.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790