Low in the eastern sky
Perhaps thirty degrees above the horizon
Hung a little pink cloud.
Evening had receded past twilight
And well through dusk-
Nearly night, where dark clouds ruled the sky,
And a timid half-moon to the south
Peeked out intermittently.
We often see pink clouds
Scattered overhead after sundown,
Reflecting rays of distant sun.
This one was isolated, glowing softly,
Emanating from within, and not reflecting.
The cloud contained flashes of lightning-
Not jumping to other clouds
Nor striking toward the ground.
We heard no thunder from this little far-off stationary cloud,
And lightning continued fifteen minutes or so
While the surrounding sky grew dark.
One with imagination might have seen
That little cumulus entity
As a pink glass jar
Filled with fireflies.
Mom called them “lightning bugs,”
And her book was “Fireflies and Fairy Wands.”
Maybe my mother was sending us
A message of fireflies and fairy wands
And hope and joy and peace-
A message we really needed
At this time.