Barbara Brooks


Fireflies hide on stems

of unmown grass,

wait for dusk. The falling sun

pulls them up. Five, six, ten lift

themselves three,

four, twelve feet into the trees.

Their abdomens flash

yellow, their wings blur.


In the still morning, tiger

swallowtails drop from underneath

green leaves. They tease nectar

from the buddlea. Unheard,

their wings flutter as they

to wander. Like boxers, two spar

upward. Like Japanese

lanterns, ten now twenty

hang from purple flowers.

Loggerhead Turtle 

Thirty years since I’ve

touched this beach. In my

leather egg sac, I felt


the waves crash with only

pauses of quiet. I ripped

a hole in the egg, crawled


into the sand, began

to dig upward. My nest

mates clambered


over one another, all vied

for the surface. I blinked

at the moon painting


a path to the sea, cleared

my nose of sand, began

my trek to the waves. Once


past, the Gulf Stream

drifted me north, then east

towards Africa, each year


brings me closer to coastal

waters. Long lines hooked

many turtles, smiling dolphin


and tatted fishing nets

killed others. I am the only

survivor from my nest.


but the smell of the sand

guides me. I ride the waves

onto the beach,


tread past

the high tide line,


begin to dig.

Spring at Little River 

Beech leaves grow longer

than their sleeves. Fiddle heads

unfurl from beneath autumn’s leaf litter.


After hugging winter’s ground,

trout lilies stand, their yellow flowers

on street lamp stems

light the park’s evening path