The fireflies are out at last,
(though most people here call them “lightning bugs”)
and I am home again.
Under a canopy of idle air,
we lift our dirt-creased necks
and eclipse the humid oppressing heat
with gales and rips
picking and riffing,
singing in iambic pentameter
of the truest philosophies,
older than the bluest grass,
growing on the smokiest mountains,
connected by the clothes lines of electricity
that zone our yards and our histories.
We are outshone only by the lightning bugs,
their mysteries illuminating our tired eyes.
It’s no surprise we are blue-screen-weary
and much less cheerful than we were last time we all came home.
We’re never alone now:
because there are always bugs everywhere
especially in North Carolina,
but the fireflies are only here in summer–
like a visit with family should be.
For a moment we are a collective captive audience:
as if inside a mason jar with holes poked in the lid,
remembering what it meant to be here before,
dancing around metacognition,
our shared tradition.
Not all lights burn as bright as ours when we come back home
to catch up on the fruit of our labor
and the respect we leave to earn;
going far entails return.
The lightning bugs are out at last, and I am home again.