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