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Friday, July 11, 2003

Friday
In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. -- Aaron Rose

Darwin

Last night I walked across the lawn
And paused to let a firefly drift by.
I reached out my hand and missed,
But I could have caught it,
Even in the dark dusk of the evening,
If I'd wanted, and tried harder.
Shoot! A child could have caught it,
It was so slow!
Caught it, then carefully placed it
In an old mayonaisse jar her
Mom had cleaned out,
And her dad had punched holes in the lid,
And she'd put some grass in
And a twig. And chased around
The yard for a half-hour or so,
Catching them, admiring their
Neon glow, letting them crawl on
Hands and arms, then jailing them.
In the jar they would sparkle like diamonds.
What kind of evolutionary fate,
What kind of creationary god,
Just what kind of planning or mutating luck,
Creates a little bug that
Uses a light scientists can't even figure out
How they glow it,
That they need to reproduce, to survive,
To light their way through the night,
And looks so lovely,
And is so harmless,
And flies so slow,
That little kids can catch them, laughing,
Time after time,
Jar after jar,
Bug after bug,
On sweet summer evenings?
Darwin, buddy--go figure.

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