Fireflies

Mayor

Madeline Rogero
mayor@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2040

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Poem read at the Poet Laureate announcement on June 27, 2018

By Marilyn Kallet


 
Fireflies


In the dry summer field at nightfall,
fireflies rise like sparks.
Imagine the presence of ghosts
flickering, the ghosts of young friends,
your father nearest in the distance.
This time they carry no sorrow,
no remorse, their presence is so light.
Childhood comes to you,
memories of your street in lamplight,
holding those last moments before bed,
capturing lightning-bugs, 
with a blossom of the hand 
letting them go.  Lightness returns,
an airy motion over the ground
you remember from ring-around-the-rosie.
If you stay, the fireflies become fireflies
again, not part of your stories,
as unaware of you as sleep, being
beautiful and quiet all around you.


Poem is from Packing Light: New and Selected Poems. Black Widow Press, 2009.