I Once Knew a Sparkledrop

by Carl Santoro

It probably would

    never happen

    for someone else

    as it happened

    for me, just then.

The car I was in

    was speeding

    at about seventy.

The night had

    already begun.

    The view from

    the windows

    revealed mostly

    open fields.

Small cold-like clouds

    slept stubbornly

    only yards

    above the earth.

The black from the

    night part of night

    was not black yet,

    but a mellowing

    deep, far off blue.

And then I, and I believe,

    I alone, saw

    this small child

    run a few steps

    in a field, and

    stop to throw a

    lighted sparkler

    into the blackening

    blueness of the sky.

It glowered happily,

    and yet desperately;

    and yet desperately,

    for it would

    never return

    to the earth

    as the same

    bright stick of


    as it is now.

The last gleeful


    painted the child's

    attentive face

    with a friendly, but


    orange goodbye.

The image of the streak

    from the child's

    run and throw

    now was taken in

    by the nearest mother cloud.

I remember it now-

    still as if those seconds

    are still occurring

    as a full length movie.

The child smiling up,

    along with the sparkler;

    the fading contrail

    evolving from white

    to a soft blue and

    slowly melting into

    the air.

And then I could

    see no more.

A one act performance.

So fast.

    So very, very long.