Mixed signals and grave matters

Mixed Signals

fireflies seen from inside
a dark house

wander like the spirits
of lost children

or thoughts flickering
between synapses

but it’s wedding season
and courtship can be perilous:

an evolutionary arms race
between related species

each with a signature pattern
of light and darkness

the females get hungry
waiting in the long grass

so switch to mimic
other species’ flash patterns

indulge in a romantic
dinner for one

as inside the dark house
I toss and turn

ah for a midsummer
night’s dream


When I got to the spruce grove last night a half-hour after sunset, there was still rainwater pooled on top of the small slab of Juniata sandstone that we just moved to his gravesite from down the ridge. I sat on the bench our neighbours donated so that I could see a small patch of sky reflected in Dad’s rock and sat until it got so dark, that was nearly all I could see: a bit of sky where we planted his ashes. Peaceful. Reflective. Steadfast.

Dad always enjoyed the company of children, so I’m hoping this will seem like an inviting thing to play or sit on. It’s a rock I’ve known for years. It will hold just a half-inch of water for a day or two, so shouldn’t breed mosquitoes or the wrong sort of algae for a bird bath.

I miss you, Dad.

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