“Black Boys as Fireflies” by Dayna Hodge Lynch

Dayna Hodge Lynch


We watch the blue
Lights in the trees
An August night with 
the air trapped 
between God’s palms

From the front porch
Ma and I can see my brother
Swarmed with 5 cars
Guns drawn
He’s trying to get home
To us 
I don’t want him to fly into the night

My brother complies with every order
Making a point to not move too fast 
Or talk with the grit we’re used to 
We wait

As the blue lights disappear
Into the night once again
Conjured incantation of survival magic 
Is this why everyone wants to cage them?
I see fewer of them every time I go outside

The sirens 
Alert the neighborhood 
In warning
Don’t be who you are 
when we can see you

from Rattle #74, Winter 2021
Rattle Poetry Prize Finalist


Dayna Hodge Lynch: “Being raised in the arts, poetry was always there and I fell in love. When I was five, my momma performed ‘When Malindy Sings’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar. I wanted from that moment on to make people feel through the poetry I had to share. Poetry creates spaces to be heard. I write to explore and expand my own beliefs.”

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