we live in an enchanted place dear Erin
last night, Gran and I
in the warm water of the hot tub
saw fireflies against the greying sky
grandchildren would see those and
easily imagine they were fairies

some fireflies were close to the ground
so that kids could catch them and put
in a jar with holes punched in the lid
creating a sort of lantern

other fireflies were high in the sky
above our tallest tree
easily mistaken for air planes
easily imagined as spirits watching

of course it was nothing like that
those horny fireflies were doing
what they were designed to do
dancing their courtship
on track to provide a subsequent generation,
passing on DNA

we sentient beings in the hot tub
provided the enchantment
doing what we were designed to do too
inventing realms of beauty
pushing creation forward


James T. Stemmle lives in Riderwood, a senior village, with his wife of 58 years. He writes poetry during morning meditations in his third-floor apartment. He had a Federal Government career mostly with EPA, earned a doctorate from Catholic U in Chemistry, and was born in Louisville, KY.