FIREFLIES

 

Evenings when the children

are fast asleep and day begins

its shading to dusk,

 

from the shelter of our

screened porch we watch

their brief

 

transformations: small orbs

blinking like unintelligible signals

above the groundcover

 

then vanishing, only

to appear somewhere else:

beneath, say, the arms

 

of the ornamental pear

or over by the broken gate

no one can enter,

 

their cold light

strange proclamations of love

or hunger, faint sparks

 

pricking the darkness

filled with its tense

promise of rain, invisible clouds

 

holding it in.

Who really knows

another, what each

 

is capable of

if the moment is ripe?

When day comes and we

 

can no longer see them

they are there still,

unaccounted for

 

in the outer all-encompassing light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poet and playwright Jennifer O’Grady is the author of White (Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry). Her poems have appeared in Harper’s, The New Republic, The Writer’s Almanac, The Yale Review, Poetry, Poetry Daily and numerous other places. Her plays have been featured or are forthcoming in The Best Stage Monologues for Women 2014 (Smith and Kraus), Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35 (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books), and The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2016 (Smith and Kraus).

Issue #57 April 2016
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