Protests, Paper Hearts and Fireflies

Newport RI fireworks, July 4, 2004

Photo: author

This isn’t quite as somber as the past few — sorry, it kind of slipped out. I don’t know if it’s my best, but I think it’s my favorite so far. I don’t have kids, but if I ever do I’ll make sure they know this. And wear hats and gloves in the winter.


Protests, Paper Hearts and Fireflies

Playing on a snowy evening with stars in your hair

And a half-moon strung from the tip of your nose

Ever in motion, a grace for all seasons

In January a radical, protesting hats and scarves and demanding the fall of snow

Giving your hearts in February, a ritual you perform with more earnestness than understanding

Embattled like a general in March, making the most of melting resources

Smiling when I tell you the April songbirds returned just to laugh at your jokes

A May basket-case, so full of summery anticipation you can’t decide what to do first

A June jitterbug, so full of summery freedom you can’t decide what to do next

Benevolent in July, pardoning her fireflies after they’re tried

In August seeking cool refuge in pools, and books, and other floating worlds

Mourning the end of the world each September, and

Peering over a pencil eraser in the aftermath, at summer’s October tears on the window

Peeling November’s noreast leaves from your bright face

And gorging on December, that double cheeseburger, that ice cream sundae of a month

That finales in fireworks(!), then dissolves once more to protests, paper hearts and fireflies.

How many more cycles? No one can tell, nor what they’ll bring

I’ve had thirty-one more than you, and this is my wisdom, the sum:

You are always in motion, but in all seasons grace

Bundle up in the cold ones, jump in puddles in the wet ones

And remember the singing birds laugh just for you.


©2013 Jason Anderson


5 thoughts on “Protests, Paper Hearts and Fireflies

    • I had that awwww feeling as I wrote it, so I’m glad it came through 🙂 Thanks Kim — I don’t know why it put your comment into moderation this time, I would’ve thought you were ‘on the list’ by now. Haven’t you been tipping the WordPress bouncers? 😉

  1. You December is so classic, I love it! The word gorging brings so many images to mind (the turkey, the food, all those desserts). I think a double cheeseburger and ice cream sundae sounds so awesome for that month, too!

    • Ha, those were the most decadent foods I knew of at eight years old…besides candy of course. And they were mostly forbidden eleven months of the year, but the rules could be bent in December! Thank you for your kind comment 🙂

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