Lightning Bugs

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

We, as children,
celebrated the arrival of fireflies,
calling them lightning bugs.

We danced with them
in the meadows,
collected them in glass jars.

Some of us
took their thoraces,
rubbing them on the backs
of our T-shirts,
letters glowing in the dark.

We didn’t know their light
was sacred–
that this gift brightened

our backwoods swamp,
lighthouses called to mind
in our walled-off childhood.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

5 responses to “Lightning Bugs

  1. I am grateful for this, Ethel:


    While Teaching
    Is a sacred calling

    An opening
    An awakening
    An endless blessing

    This (Mis)education
    Better called Schooling

    Is demonic
    Is a lifelong blight
    Is a shackle and a curse

  2. This is interesting Ray. Thanks. Ethel

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