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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets
(2006)

Lindner, Carl, 1940-
The firefly in the bedroom,   p. 39


Page 39

 
The Firefly in the Bedroom 
No sooner did the light go out 
when one came on, the slow 
winking of a bright green eye. 
At first it was a child's game 
("Find me. Catch me.") 
then an S.O.S., a ship 
tossing in dark waters. 
I watched cool fire 
come and go, 
lighting up like a lover's face, 
then turned on the lamp 
to let him out into his house, 
the night, but he was gone 
like the last breath 
and I returned to dark, 
falling into a dream 
of caves and night lights. 
Waking at dawn 
I found him again, 
stiff and curled against a wall, 
and I cradled him in my palm 
to see him glowing still, 
lit from within, and I remembered 
how my father's heartbeat quickened 
even in that coma when I touched his face 
and whispered, "I'm here. I'm here." 
Carl Lindner 
Poet's Statement 
While this poem came out of an actual experience, it went through several
drafts 
(as most of my poems do), and the ending turned out to be entirely different.
The first draft made no mention of my father at all. Just another reminder
that the 
unconscious is way ahead of the conscious mind. As I look at it again from
time 
to time, it has new things to say to me and, I hope, the reader. 
39 


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