In the heat of summer evening, a boy
crouches with a glass jar
twice the size of his head, eyeing
the miniscule, momentary flame
of insects that burn out
and glow again. In the last light of day
he watches for the brilliance
he longs to keep, and rushes to
sweep it from the air, his small hands
reaching and missing its flight.
Sparks dance all around him,
igniting and dimming
beyond his grasp, his mouth
curled in pursuit of their magic.
His old man, clutching an amber bottle
by the neck, slouches on the ground
and cajoles him, shouts to the boy
with a yellowed grin:
Over there! Over there!
and bellows each time a firefly
escapes. He knows the tragic
quest for dreams—has felt
a glimmer of delight
die inside him again and again.
But the boy, young and callow,
feverishly runs in circles
blurring the world.
The jar, flying from his grip,
lands in un-mowed grass and
catches the last bright beads of dying sun.