Lightning bugs are emerging
from their cover in the clover.
Spreading striped wings and blinking
across the Kentucky hillside,
spelling out their secret messages 
in bioluminescent Morse code. 
When I was little, some of the cousins 
would squish them between their fingers.
Raid the full mason jars so carefully collected
and rub all that glowing magic
on their dirty, wild, faces. 
Some of the cousins would steal
that buggy brilliance, that glow. 
And I’d cry for the fireflies 
left at the bottom of the jar,
still gleaming, but out of sync. 
Still kicking fragile legs in the air, 
too touched by us to shake loose
and fly off into the night.