THE GLOW-WORM
         
You followed Castle Creek, the shortcut home.
Never mind the dark your body foundered in,
I loved you then

because you didn't shy from anything.
And who but you would trust
those clustered lights above you?
Where night opened back

to a perfect pitch you climbed the bank
to enter, toe and fingerholds so dim it chills me
still, what bears our weight.

But you, pure question,
bent to touch a glow as tenuous as what escapes
at death. Your fingers formed an ark

beneath the glow-worm's body, your skin lit,
a heart-shaped boat in which
that tiny fisherman rocked through the night.
I loved your stories, pungent from an ocean

I had never seen. As I saw none of this
but what I give you back: an open door,
and my hands open to receive your light.



Judith Harway
JUDITH HARWAY's work has been published in a number of literary journals, including Cream City Review, Red River Review, Southern Poetry Review, Cottonwood, and Carolina Quarterly, and has earned fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Hambidge Center, and the MacDowell Colony. She is on the faculty of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
TAR