FRESH OFF THE PAGE: fireflies dance

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fireflies dance

in the growing dark of evening
they emerge, coming alight
coming to life;
and I, leaving the halo
of my back porch light,
drawn out toward them,
like a moth to their flames,
move away from the false light,
the illusions I hold,
to watch and wonder
at the dancers in the dark.

down I settle on the soft grass
beneath the old birch tree;
and as the sun sets finally
over a purpled horizon,
the brighter they seem to grow–
all around me now,
these flickering flames,
flitting here and there,
specks of dust, so like me,
trying to shine a light in shadows,
their glorious moment
at last arrived.

and through the tall trees,
the night wind currents flow,
whispering and singing,
carrying the sparks softly along,
ushering away the last of the day;
til above us all the moon wakes,
gazing down, clear and bright,
her own light pale,
cool and distant,
from the fires burning quietly,
this constellation of small stars
surrounding me,
fallen to earth below.

so I remain there, enraptured,
tied to the cool ground,
joined by night sounds,
til the flames go out, die down;
then rising at last, ready
turning toward home,
some sweet, imagined safety of bed,
the last of the little lights
guiding my way back
through the dark,
to carry me off with them,
away into dreams.

Listen to this poem read aloud: