The first night we laughed, and chased the fireflies

as they looped and droned around his front yard

in their giddy romantic dance.

I was eleven, and I was in love,


and just passing through his Carolina life

where the dusty ground baked,

voices drawled in the sun-haze

and even the fireflies were heat-drunk at dusk.


Then, on the last night he gave me a gift

in a little clean jar with holes pierced for air:

a firefly of my own in a prison of glass.

I unscrewed the lid and begged to go home.



First published in the anthology Voiceprints, Flarestack Press