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Fireflies

By John I. Blair

Late at night beside the lake,
The woods a womb of darkness,
Owl hoots for sound, for texture
Just the hardness of the trail . . .

Then intermittent stars,
First one or two,
Then scores of brilliant lights
Flash among the leaves.

Their cool burn
Betrays the source:
Firefly couples courting,
Doomed to shining sex,

Self-advertising fools for love
With illuminated tails
Circling in a stellar ballroom,
Enchanted till the dawn

Turns this dancing school
To softly glowing snacks
For toad or bird or mouse
Or supple snake.

2005 John I. Blair


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