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REVERENCE
by Julie Cadwallander-Staub

The air vibrated
with the sound of cicadas
on those hot Missouri nights after sundown
when the grown-ups gathered on the wide back lawn,
sank into their slung-back canvas chairs
tall glasses of iced tea beading in the heat
 and we sisters chased fireflies
reaching for them in the dark
admiring their compact black bodies
their orange stripes and seeking antennas
as they crawled to our fingertips
and clicked open into the night air.
In all the days and years that have followed,
I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced
the same utter certainty of the goodness of life
that was as palpable
as the sound of the cicadas on those nights:
my sisters running around with me in the dark,
the murmur of the grown-ups’ voices,
the way reverence mixes with amazement
to see such a small body
emit so much light. 
***
“Reverence” by Julie Cadwallander-Staub appears in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology — a 220-page collection of poetry and prose available in a free Kindle version on Sept. 17 & 18, 2013. Find your free Kindle of the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology at Amazon.com. (If you don’t have a Kindle device, get free kindle reading apps for your computer at this link.)

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Photo: “Fireflies at Night” by Sierra, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED