The Daily Palette Vintage

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.

The Daily Palette Vintage

The Daily Palette is pleased to introduce its new Project Coordinator, Jennifer Erixon.

During the month of February we will feature selected artists and works from the Palette's archive.


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 September 05, 2018

Find us on Facebook