The Fireflies are Dying
“Firefly populations are disappearing.” –New York Times, 2008
“…researchers suspect that artificial light, like streetlights, has an impact on their ability to find each other and mate…” –Associated Press, 2009
Maybe it’s a metaphor for growing up, or at least
growing up in a small, tired town. They were everywhere
when I was little, “knee-high to a grasshopper,”
and now I barely see them flickering
in the trees out past the Wobbly Box –
the silly name that our friends use to poke fun
at Chris’ tiny trailer. He has to duck
to get inside the door.
But most nights, the four of us – three former football jocks
and one bookish girl –
sit on his porch, enjoying this odd cool summer
air that none of us are quite used to.
The lights that he leaves on inside glare through
clouded, warped glass windows.
Once, Chris points the fireflies out,
blinking faint against the dark branches and Big Dipper-ed sky.
It’s been a while since I noticed – they’re so few
I’ve almost forgotten they still come
when the weather warms.
But the fireflies are – still – dying. This last July
was more rainy than any that we’d ever seen.
We couldn’t stop talking about it – about the rain.
I wanted to talk about the fireflies.
Workshopped in class today. Still a work in progress. Not entirely sure I like this draft more than the last one, for the matter, but for tonight I need to sit on it. Thoughts?