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.
Glancing around the kitchen at the pile of breakfast dishes in the sink and the mound of laundry near the stove waiting for the water to heat, Helen was a bit envious as she watched her two oldest children go careening down the slope of the back lawn toward the stone wall that separated lawn from pasture in their make-shift vehicle. Nearly a foot of new snow had fallen overnight finally turning to rain in the early morning hours. Just before dawn the thermometer took a steep downward plunge Continue reading