Lightning Bug Blues

By Allison Reynolds

Before we left New York, there were fireflies. We walked outside the house and into the damp, salty summer twilight, and there they were. They lit up the yard, their tiny, glowing bodies buzzing in the spaces between our palms. My brother and I and all the other young kids in the neighborhood would chase them across the yard between games of Red Rover, our shouts of glee echoing off the trees around the yard’s perimeter. They were fast as lightning, their twinkling lights popping around just out of reach. And we were so small then that we could barely catch three each, though we raised and waved our little, excited arms in reverence, trying so desperately to see one firefly’s light sit in our palms. Those summers were made of the fireflies, their magic grazing our shoulders and hovering over our heads, blinking at us with yellow flickers until the whole place looked like a kingdom of light. Even in the dark, the rose bushes never looked so alive.

There were no fireflies in New Hampshire.

Stillwater Magazine