First Night with Fireflies

Very few. A handful in the hydrangeas
and rhododendrons that border the lawn.
An experiment in light concocted in
the damp grass or beneath the roots
of the weeping willow tree. And this
mere handful the first success, the first
to glow in the dark. Very few. Soon thousands
more now the filament is found,
to hold the phosphorescence without
burning up at ignition, without turning
lipstick pink or international safety orange,
without switching at random on and off
to disorient their gyroscopes of flight.
Very few of them on this first night,
signalling about the split rail fence.
Among these few the one that will blink
a dim, ever dimmer and dimmer fire,
alone, in the dark, without reply, of the deep,
ever deeper and deeper summer.

- Joel Solonche