fireflies of summer

bare-footed imps,
we dashed
through grass
skinny leaping legs
and blasts of laughter
hounding phantom trails
flashes of fire
beneath the trees
shrill got one!
bright bulbs
tap the glass
of those summer jars
while crickets
scratched applause
giddy grins
and scraped shins
and the small triumph
of catching hold
of fire
gleefully unknowing
those warm nights
would be fleeting
like moths that ghost
the stars
and not like fireflies
trapped in jars

© Sarah Whiteley


young and cold

open windows
to the cold
why do we
wrap ourselves
in layers
bundling ourselves
for what
better days?
as children
we were unafraid
to sink pink toes
into snow
to fling ourselves
into winds
that now
make us shiver
just to think
of them
we did not think
in sneezes
or sniffles
but ran
with the rest
of the red-cheeked
snow-suited troops
open windows
to winter
and thrill
to the chill tickles
of the delight
we once held
in ten-foot forts
and endless piles
of white-balled
the sweaters
layered socks
and stupor
of space heaters
will wait
at the back
of the closet
for when we are old
and truly
weary of cold

© Sarah Whiteley