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Granny who could feel vibes
before we had a name for it 
tells how the fireflies would rise every evening 
just at the onset of dark 
and slowly rise higher 
blinking like air glitter
except one evening, 5 August 
7:15 PM in Maryland time
which was 6 August 8:15 AM in Japan, 
each and every bug went dark. 

And Granny who was a little girl back then 
wonders if it happened all over the world 
or just that one lawn she saw 
from the glider on the front porch 
but every lightning bug went dark 
and never lit again that night 
though only later did she learn 
that’s the moment when the atom bomb 
obliterated Hiroshima and of course 
the bugs are just mating, 
that’s why they flash.


Joe Cottonwood repairs homes for money and writes poems for reasons he can’t explain. He lives under redwood trees in La Honda, California dodging wildfires and playing with grandchildren. His most recent book is Random Saints.

© 2021, by Joe Cottonwood

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