Iowa Writes

The Firefly

Few master a form to be conspicuous in the night.
Sometimes I think I am the night,
Having nothing, not even a broken line.
The winter night across the neighborhood

Of past fireflies. Having lost even their slow
Radiance, their disconnections of someone
Pacing back and forth before a lamp,
Their teasing flight like the doubt in two voices:

Can I see you? and Do you really see me?
Day might see one,
Stopped, eating from the yellow ray-end
Of a dill blossom. But night after night

I am the stretch it once bit into
With hard catchable light,
Going in some direction, I never knew which
Until I saw it twice.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Sandra McPherson's tenth collection is Expectation Days (Illinois, 2007). She has taught at the University of California at Davis since 1985. For four years in the 1970s she taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is editor and publisher of Swan Scythe Press. "The Firefly" was published in Voices on the Landscape: Contemporary Iowa Poets, edited by Michael Carey (Loess Hills Books, 1996).

This page was first displayed
on December 03, 2007

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