Catching Fireflies. 2019. oil on canvas. 36x48”. Tennessee.

Catching Fireflies

A glass jar, cold and clear—

Hold it close as you sprint

Headlong. This you are given

When wandering the lawngrass

Shadows seeking a flicker. Disappeared

Lights zigzag your quest, and you realize you

Must look down, rather than beyond.

Be patient for that imminent flash

Already beside your bare toes. Yes,

Here, you are safe. You can wholeheartedly

Focus on this small task of stillness — collecting

Brightness — without performance, without

Locating a horizon escape. Cradle the silky

Animals, one by one. Brittle tinfoil

Confines them; but knifeslices in the silver

Let them breathe. Study them unfurling

Those dark quick wings. Red painted eyes

Return your curious gaze… And, finally,

Once first stars outshine a lavender sky,

Let them free.