When I was nearly 6, I was sent across the country to live on the outskirts of New York City. That was where I lived the next 12 summers, in Glen Cove, Long Island and then in northeastern New Jersey.

I’d go back
for just a moment,
perhaps as long
as one day and a night,
enough, I think,
to relish what I loved
about Long Island summers:

Scents of ragweed,
seared grasses,
almost-too-sweet roses
in the heavy summer air…

Glittering waters,
hot, hot sand
and tiny shells
hiding in the drying
seaweed margin of the tide…

Early mornings
sun like a glowing peach
soft-lit hazy cool
’til nearly 10…

And thunderstorms
some afternoons
that bruise the air
and break the back
of humid heat’s oppression…

Cicada-noisy nights,
lit here and there
by sudden
silent sparks
of spectral yellow, green
and random
like imaginings
or magic,
to be captured
in a jar…

It’s the fireflies I miss the most…

copyright July 2006 by CLRedding

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