Wild Air – draft #?

Wild Air
“Live in the sunshine. Swim the sea. Drink the wild air.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

We drank in the wild air
of our youth, the lessened heat
of August twilight. We swam
in a blueblack darkness broken
only by constellations and fireflies
the color of the sun, reaching out
to catch their flickering lights
in our cupped hands.

We were three and one,
I and my sister. She chased one fleeting spark
and then another, toddling in the thick
swathe of lawn that spread out below
our wide front porch like a young belle
might once have spread her hoop skirt.

We gathered folds of clover
outlined by starlight, capturing
the bright pinpricks in mason jars
to sit, shining, beside our beds. Mother
let the fireflies free
once children drifted off to sleep –
in the summer’s nightfall,
those fireflies seemed
the earthly equivalent of stars.

Revisions based on feedback in Poetry today. Any thoughts on the repetition of certain words (aka is it working, is it too much?), the addition of background information in the second stanza, or any places that sound at all cliche? Thanks in advance!


2 thoughts on “Wild Air – draft #?

  1. HI LIZ!

    So, I really like the additional stanza! Swathe of yard = beautiful!! I think it ties in well and adds nicely. The transition into the third stanza is a bit awkward, though that might be just because I knew your first draft, and I think the change between we and then the third person still might want to be changed. Finally, I still want a “why”…

    As to repetition of words, I think Kevin was actually right about stars at the end. I think I still wanted a little bit more of a gut-punch ending, if that makes sense. Maybe like two or three more lines with the why would fix that because I love the line “earthly equivalent to stars.”

    Your Poetry Class Friend 🙂

    • Thanks girl! I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the “mother” sentence…I feel like any word other than “children” is awkward, but that’s probably just because that’s the first way I wrote it.

      I think I’m ruminating on a why or a thesis or whatever…something about the fleetingness of youth tying into the fleetingness of lightning bugs (a term I love, but doesn’t seem to fit in the poem).

      AH! Revisions.
      Love you friend!

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