Appalachian Thursday – Fireflies or Lightning Bugs?

Fall-Foliage-ForecastWe called them lightning bugs when I was growing up. We’d catch them and keep them in a mason jar with holes punched in the lid. We’d turn them loose in the morning, although I suspect there were quite a few casualties.

The wee flashes of light are waning as fall approaches. I wrote a poem a while back when I realized the end of lightning bug season was upon us. I called them fireflies, because it fit the rhythm better . . .


I didn’t notice when they left,
the fireflies that danced
all summer in the yard.
But on a September night I saw
the last one lying in the grass,
glowing steady. Unblinking.
An accusing eye
that would not close.
Frozen wide in shock,
or wonder, or dying.

Then as the dark grew darker
and the first of the cold, colder,
I saw it was more than unblinking,
it was slowly burning out.

Like leaving home in a car at night,
the local radio station fading,
into static.


Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

8 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday – Fireflies or Lightning Bugs?

  1. I grew up calling them Lightning bugs. When my daughter was 3, her friend called them Fireflies. My daughter “corrected” her friend saying they were not hot when you to touch them and they did not have flames so they were not “fire” flies. She told me they were Lighting bugs, not Lightning.

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