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Firefly, a Poem by Katherine Gotthardt*

The world could use more fireflies.

Not in a jar, but brightening that space –

you know, the one between the space,

the night we stare into as we begin to meander

from metro riots to mom’s cancer,

from dad’s old, cracked belt to some scary president,

from welts, tears, steel words, missiles, earthquakes,

fires, floods, pandemics, and bad memories –

all broken up by a simple beacon:

the not-so-minor miracle of insects

sending love signals. Of need meeting need

in empty evening, knowing one way or another,

it will work out, and the answer to everything

lies in a willingness to fly with the lights on.

It seems so simple, doesn’t it?

These bugs we caught as children,

released back into the blackness?

Believing in sparks? Luminous? Certain?

Making more of themselves?


*Honorable mention: 2023 Valiant Scribe poetry competition.

Katherine Gotthardt hails from Northern Virginia. Raised in a small North American town, she began writing as soon as her mother taught her to read. Katherine’s first published poem, "Remembering Thoreau," appeared in ELF: Eclectic Literary Forum in the early 1990s. Her work has since been published in Yankee, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Frogpond, Peace Like a River, and dozens of other magazines, journals and anthologies. Katherine’s 11 books include an Amazon bestselling children’s epic poem and an inspirational collection that won a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. She donates proceeds to local charities. Learn more at


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