Fireflies

— Diane Lee Moomey

You’d drive me home the long way
through Nobleton and Kleinburg, their window-dark houses—
our own windows down, our summer dark, its colorless moon—
my lower meadow thick with fireflies,
their green ghostlight, the listless complaints
of cricket frogs. You’d stop the engine,
stop the frogs. Dark wingtips brushed our cheeks,
humming; we’d speak of angels and the where? of them.

You’d drive me home the short way
through Unionville and Markham—the vee-dub’s meager heater,
our winter-tight windows, their ice mandalas—
the meadow thick with ice and silent,
starry dark above, and silent. You’d turn in—
the snowplow would’ve already been by—
you’d stop at the house, engine running. Our starry dark:
we’d speak of space and wonder if auroras are alive?

The night your father died—
before his time, before his time—alone you drove
the long way, drove the short way, drove the long way,
up the long drive, knocked. I opened, and we spoke of nothing at all
but only held on and remembered
that somewhere there must be fireflies.

When I waved your car down the road
for what would be the final time, corn blades
trembled in the wind of your passing.

 


This poem is from a new cluster called “The Lake Effect,” from a time of living in southern Ontario.

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