after William Stafford
After a June day’s work, having driven
a diesel tractor, dodged limestones and sinkholes
hidden in the folds of earth and grass, I waited
in the shade of old maples where the house
used to stand curtained, windows screened.
Dusty with hay seed and red clay, I waited
for my return driver while the tractor cooled.
A ball of light emerged from the ridged wood,
rose and descended; circled, then engulfed me.
So immense, once it arrived, all edges disappeared.
Fireflies’ twilight. Hundreds, perhaps thousands,
dancing a golden rhythm, tapping messages—light,
no heat wasted—folding me into their world,
overlapping themselves then roving on into the meadow.
They left me standing alone in the dusk.
The last of blinking lights lingered
then melted away. Fodder lay felled in the fields;
I was but fourteen