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On a Friday Long Ago

I walk.  As I walk I reach down, scoop a fire-fly into the net of my fingers.  He stays there a while, crawls up to the top of my middle finger, and flies off.  All the while I walk.  Still walking, I reach down, scoop his cousin into my fingers. 

I walk, looking at my new friend.  As I walk, he climbs to the top of my middle finger, and sits there.  I walk, and slowly I realize that he isn’t going to fly off.

He turns around, looking at me.  I look at him.  It seems like we both laugh, though neither of our expressions change.

I am patient, thinking that this may be his first trip on a fingertip.  My gait carries us past a jogger, a couple with a dog, a cat on a high deck railing.  My friend speaks without words, convaying the sense of a fire-fly, phoenix, living again and again, each season bringing death and

the promise of another life; life, and its immortal conclusion. 

I stop, a shaded wooded area, and look at this phoenix, my lightning-like brother.  He turns about, preens his wings and steps off my finger.  He flies to my right, over my head, making a flashy exit.  He goes to tell reletives less distant than I about the strange man he met in the woods, and how he rode him to the other side of the water. 

I walk on, talking only to the trees,

and myself.

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