Fireflies

What they won’t tell you
is that the aliens are no longer coming.
Any fence we build now is a cage,
not keeping others out,
but keeping us in.

We might escape,
like fireflies before the mason jar closes.

Or, we might not.
We might suffocate on our own breathing.

When I was small, I chased fireflies.
sometimes I’d made the holes in the lid too big
and they got away.
Others, I wondered why they stopped flapping their wings,
why the light went out.

My mother, bless her, warned me
that there is a limited amount of time
in which one can live without freedom.
But, children never listen.

I’m listening now, Mom.

I’m looking for holes,
trying not to breathe too deeply.

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