Wild Air (final)

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 lived happily
in the brevity of dusk.

We were five and three,
I and my sister. She chased one fleeting spark
and then another, toddling in the thick
swathe of lawn that spread below
our wide front porch like a hoop skirt
worn by a young Southern belle. We flailed
in the absence of the insects’ brief lights,
unable to see their unlit bodies.

Persistent, we gathered folds of clover
outlined by starlight, eventually capturing
enough bright pinpricks in mason jars
to sit beside our beds. Mother
set the fireflies free
once we drifted off to sleep –
in the summer’s nightfall,
those fireflies still seemed
the temporary, earthly equivalent of stars.

Well, I buried myself in revisions and other writerly (yes, that’s a word and yes, I did just make it up) things this weekend. Here’s yet another poem. Yay for poems!

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