The Blue Ghost Fireflies of Western North Carolina

The Blue Ghost Fireflies of Western North Carolina

The Blue Ghost Fireflies of Western North Carolina

By Mary Ardery

The blue flickers
in the mountain meadow
caught us by surprise.

Their dance held majesty
as much as play, like fairies:
intentional with their mischief.

Oh tactile pulse!
                        (theirs)

Oh thrum of light!
                        (ours)

Growing up
we called them
lightning bugs.

Their glow was slow
and yellow and easily
trapped. In Indiana,

there were things
I didn’t even know
to desire: the way

a man’s stubble
burns lips differently
at sea level than 5,000 feet up;

the way some light,
when captured,
lasts only the night

—but other light
burns brighter.
Other light will haunt.

 
mary ardery

Mary Ardery holds a BA in English Writing from DePauw University. After living and working in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina for two years, she has returned home to the Midwest to pursue her MFA at Southern Illinois University. Visit maryardery.com to see more of her work.

Featured image by Uqbar / CC BY