Witness (Revised 6.24.18), by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Witness

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

When you stop
And think about it,
The idea is absurd:

Beetles that light up.
Bioluminescence
They call it.

I call it utterly and phantasmagorically
Miraculous.

Along the river banks
Of the jungles of Malaysia,
Fireflies synchronize
Their flashing lights;
In the town of Donsol
In the Philippines,
Fireflies stay around
All year, coexisting
With the locals, like
Eccentric sentinels;
In the Great Smoky Mountains
Of Tennessee,
Fireflies have been seen blinking in unison.

If you are a believer
In doubt and darkness,
If you partake of the white bread
Of theorized negativity,
If you harbor any spiritual misgivings
Then stop and think about this
Outlandish phenomenon
Occurring in backyards and fields
Around the world, better yet
Stop and see it for yourself.
And once you do, ask yourself:

Can I really keep up this charade?
Can I really keep myself
From swooning with devotion and wonder?

There are so many sorrows in the world, you say–                                                                                                    And rightly so–so many injustices–who am I to be happy?

I am not suggesting ignoring the wrongs, or doing nothing about them.

All I am saying is fireflies exist, and that you are allowed to be happy.

Why not allow these little,
Avant-garde angels lift you,
Illuminate you, and save you
From the cold, dry emptiness
Of only seeing the dark.

Try.

Try for your own sake
And for the sake of the future:

Stand on the edge
Of a cornfield at night
In deep July, or find a field, backyard, or woods
Humming with mystery, and simply be
A witness to the dazzling carnival
Happening in the tree tops,
Skimming the dark grass, bobbing
Up and down in the cool, moist air, like
Strings of moving green Christmas lights.
See these little beetles with their lovely
Blinking bellies, and allow yourself
To blossom, like
A night gladiolus, sending the fragrance
Of your newly found faith
Into the world.

Go ahead.

Be amazed,

And watch everything

Around you,
And within you,

Break open
Into light.

 

 

 


 

 


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