A Forgotten Birthday

The lady sat by the wood stove before
dawn, watching the flame release a
thousand fireflies dancing in the
dark, vanishing into thin air.
She counted the creases on her
palm and wondered if the son would
return at noon with a box of
candles and butter cakes.
They say a murderer will never
see the light of heaven but she
would kill a thousand more trees
to keep the flame in her stove alive.

She said:
Is the light not bright enough, son?
Does the smoke not beckon you
to come?

The lady would keep the fireflies
coming, dancing, rising to life, but
no matter how many times she prayed
that they may last forever, each one
would still die and descend like a tiny
speck of ash back to the ground
where they would lay down unnoticed
and forever forgotten.

 

 

Artwork by Yuli Serfaty

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