I came out to the patio this evening
to think about my friend.
Pleasant thoughts ran through my mind
as the sun set and twilight settled
in purple shades in the garden.
Soon it would be nighttime;
the time for fireflies.
My friend missed the fireflies.
We have bats here, and I suppose
that's why we don't have fireflies anymore.
I don't know if it's the same in Texas.
I can't think of him without smiling.
Our shared love of nature and poetry
and a few mutual friends
were our subjects of conversation.
Nothing deep or revealing.
Just casual observations
which seemed important somehow.
All our communications made me smile.
He told me his health was failing but,
being one who never accepts fact as truth,
I put it aside and believed
that he was as healthy as he wanted to be.
The news that he'd died came as a shock.
I never thought what a terrible vacancy
his leaving would create for me.
I don't know what happens to us when we die.
I know that for those left behind,
the experience is totally unacceptable.
These are not the feelings we want or deserve.
But then there are these memories.
And this evening, I sit in the garden and remember.
There are no fireflies here tonight.
I suspect he knows that. And that he's smiling.