Poetry Friday: What the Firefly Knows

Last summer I was inspired to write a poem “What the Milkweed Knows” from a post I read from Mary Lee Hahn. That inspired me to suggest to my Inked Voices poetry group the prompt “What the _____Knows.” I’ve had my grandkids with me this week so I wasn’t sure I’d find time to write, but I managed to squeeze in a few minutes of early morning quiet to write.

One of the activities the kids really wanted to do was catch fireflies. With their noses pressed against the window, they kept searching for that first blink. When it was time, they ran into the yard full of excitement. My husband or I would grab a firefly, then we would all gather around and make a wish before setting it free. At 4 and a half and almost 3, I’m not sure they fully understood the wish part, but they delighted in the wonder of this small creature. Eventually they caught a few of their own. It was such a joy to to experience nature with them.

What Does a Firefly Know?

a warm cupped hand
a whispered wish
a squeal of delight  
as wings take flight
Draft, 2022Rose Cappelli

It seemed fitting to post this today since Mary Lee has the round up here. Be sure to visit for more poetry fun.

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11 Responses to Poetry Friday: What the Firefly Knows

  1. margaretsmn says:

    We don’t have fireflies anymore sadly due to spraying for mosquitoes. I remember them from my childhood. We called them lightening bugs. I love this small poem and the memories you are making with your grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rosecappelli says:

    Thanks, Margaret.

    Like

  3. Denise Krebs says:

    Rose, I liked (and remember) your monarch poem last year. The firefly one is a sweet addition. I can see the fireflies in those 4- and 3-year-old sweet little hands with delighted wishes. How blessed you are to experience these treasured insects with these very special little humans. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maryleehahn says:

    What a special moment you captured in your poem, and I’m honored that my poems last year were your inspiration for the form! It’s important to shift our POV often. It’s great empathy-building exercise for the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. janicescully says:

    Fireflies are magical, almost unbelievable to see and watch blinking. I can feel your grandchildren’s delight and yours watching them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda Mitchell says:

    A stunning capture of the wonder of that age…as good or better than a photograph. You have some fortunate grands to be remembered with poetry. What a blessing for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cvarsalona says:

    Rose, your grandchildren are close to my grandgirls ages (5 and 2 1/2). It is so much fun to watch them investigate and wonder. Your poem is a delight, especially how it starts, a warm cupped hand. We have not caught any fireflies yets but have seen bunnies, birds, and bees.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. katswhiskers says:

    Lovely! I had never seen a firefly until I was married. And we don’t see many – so they are always magical!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this and so glad you gave us this prompt. The fireflies here have been amazing! I walked outside in the dark the other night and there were thousands in the trees. It was so odd because I usually spot them closer to the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tabatha says:

    Great ending couplet, Rose! Charming. We have a lot of lightning bugs in our yard these days…I tried to take a photo recently but it was too hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Rose, this was a wonderful prompt for us this week. I saw so many possible poems on my walks this week (what the sugar pine knows; what the lake gull knows; what the evening star knows…) — Thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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