Issue 25 | Summer 2020


Remember the time I rushed into the house

and woke everyone, hurrying you and the kids

to the jeep? Where, Daddy? I wouldn’t say.

Are you sure? you asked.

Just come quickly.


I drove in silence,

stopped by the ravine and turned

the engine and headlights off,

opened the moon roof and windows.
The kids climbed out onto the roof and hood

still wiping sleep from their eyes.


At first, nothing. Then under the constellated sky

fireflies poured from the grasses into the night air.

We sat for a long time watching

the lights vibrating in the dark.


A car rolled by, wheels chewing gravel.

The silver headlights swept the field

just long enough to return us

to the side of a road,

overlooking a weed-filled ravine.


It’s always this way—

no grammar to sorrow or fears. Just the song

of the cicadas to lift us from sleep, just the moon,

just winged stars by the thousands searching

for one another and disappearing

into a clear night.



Filed under: Poetry

Jack J. Chielli is a writer living in Frederick, Maryland. He has an MA in poetry from Wilkes University and a BA in Writing from Roger Williams University. He was editor of his collegiate literary magazine, Aldebaran. Jack worked as a journalist and bureau chief before taking a position as communications director for the Allegheny County Controller’s office. He has been working in higher education for the last 25 years for both a community college and several universities. He is currently vice president of enrollment management, marketing and communications for Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. His poetry has been published in the Martin Lake Journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal and Coal Hill Review