the place with the fireflies

go to the place with the fireflies, the old woman told her, and he will come to you. she knew the exact place and drew it inside her head. the little red house on the hillslope with the blue shutters, a long drive with no fence and a small back patio surrounded by a plot of grass edged by woods where the fireflies turned off and on. but how could he come back from where he went?

maybe if she went to the place with the fireflies that she drew inside her head, maybe then she could remember more than the vaporous shapes shifting over splashes of light and color that blurred the outlines but not the details.

she remembered the address she’d had to memorize as a kindergartener. even the zip code. 31204.

but what would she do when she got there? knock on the door and ask if she could sit on the back steps because she had a childhood here and she hoped and because he missed her too and besides the old woman said?

maybe it was enough to continually search for the place with the fireflies so she could remember, or at least never forget.

2009