The fairies of the night

Enakshi Misra


The night was deep and dark
River Bohol flowed free
We were in a quiet boat
To see the fireflies dancing in the tree.

High tide rocked our boat
My heart skipped a beat
The planktons flashed in the dark deep water
I sat petrified in my seat.

Three boats rowed in silence
Through the mangroves of Bohol
The stars showed us the way from heavens
And glow worms led us all.

The fireflies danced in select mangrove trees
Spreading their soft fairy light
They twinkled like ghostly fairies
The dark night smiled in delight.

I remember in my childhood
We saw fireflies every night
The heavens studded with diamonds
Our pond side was a glowing sight.
So much comfort they gave me
In the summer nights long
When I tried to fall asleep
In my bed all alone.

I imagined ghosts in my room
Out of lonely fear
Through the ventilators came my friends
Singing lullabies in my ear.

Panicked ghosts fled through the window
As they can’t stay in light
And I slept peacefully through the night
My mind free from fright.

After sixty years or so again
Here I meet my childhood friends
Whom city lights have driven away
To the earth’s other end.

Civilization has taken a big leap
Pushing them to near extinction
The modern children think them
Simply as a work of fiction.


I am happy to see you safe in Bohol
Merrily dancing in the trees
I will come again to meet you, my friends,
In this fairy land of Philippines.

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