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more than fireflies
we climb up to the heat of the loft
in the camp my daddy built
with his proud bare hands

it's the summer of '62
and there's so much
I don't understand

like why we capture fireflies
and keep them captive in a jar
with a hole-poked lid   what? 

so they can breathe while
we torture them?  so we can see
in the darkness?

hell it's going to take more than fireflies
to see beneath this tightly woven tent

and why my brother and sister
would ask me to do this unspeakable
thing    so what if I'm young enough    
there'll be no evidence

and why my favorite poem
the only poem I ever memorized
is about two little children
left in the woods to die

I sit on the rough wood floor
between two used-up mattresses
my brother sits on one
my sister sits on the other

four decades later in this far-away place
salty wet that childhood poem returns: 
don't you remember the babes in the woods?  
don't you remember the babes in the woods?

still so much I don't understand
I search the dark caverns
of my mind
and pray


(c) Hazel S. Hutchinson 2003

Hazel S. Hutchinson

Lives with "the man of her dreams" in the Midwest. Although Hazel has had many poems published, she says the true focus of her writing remains therapeutic -- and is currently working on a manuscript entitled One Match, Coming through the Fire.