Aspire By Sean Bates


When the fireflies are whiskey drunk,
hovering like dust in the sun

I will catch fifty,
fit for a proper lantern.
And in the blue dusk,
I will set my jar of light in the window and walk

Out past clotheslines,
into the tall grass,
into meadow.
Keeping my one window
in sight, I run.

In rain
my tree is a watchtower
and I race to dry
beneath its lording boughs.

Maybe this year I will be tall,
tall enough to reach the first branch.
Maybe I will climb to the highest place,
look down on our house
and shake its eye
in my hands.

Yet this year still,
I stand
tip-toed on roots,
wild palms
full of rain.

By Sean Bates


Sean Bates is a poet who grew up in various restaurants across Upstate New York. Sean attended Oberlin College for his BA, and University of Massachusetts Amherst for his MFA. His poetry was recently anthologized in ‘What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump’ edited by Martin Espada. He lives in Western MA with his spouse Elizabeth and their cat Smudge.

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