There Are No Fireflies in Cincinnati

June 3, 2008
By Julia Johnson, Louisville, KY

my six year old self
walks beside
my six year old friend
and his four year old sister
and my seven year old sister
at ten at night

mommys smiling
daddys laughing
our foursome
running around
his backyard
trying to catch

'run in circles', he says
'they'll come to you'
'OK,' i say, 'whatever you say'
wet grass dew
cold on my feet

we don't care
about the mosquitoes
only because
we think
it's some evil spell
that makes us itch

then the next day
he says to me
'i'm leaving
i have to go
to somewhere called
i cried.

the years went by
and we grew older
seven and eight and nine
ten eleven and twelve
and almost thirteen
during that time
i saw him
only five times
Derby Day - here it comes
i'm so happy now
i get to see him
for only a couple of hours
but still
i get to see him

it is bright in day
no fireflies now
i see him
i wave
he waves
i smile
he smiles and turns to the TV

my heart is breaking
we were so close
he was my neighbor
and would come over everyday
to play follow the leader
and every night
to catch fireflies

i knew it then
as my heart,
it cried,
it would
never be the same

between my twelve year old self
and his twelve year old self
and his ten year old sister
and my thirteen year old sister

Because there are no fireflies in Cincinnati

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