firefly feet

she walked with a limp
in her [soles] souls,
tipping each bruised toe to
tiptoe across tired lands,
kissing dirt soft so her feet
never crushed too many broken bodies
lighted by fire and fireflies

my mother never ran
the way feet take flight
uprooting bodies trading
laos ruins for thailand refuge
run! run! said her land dancing
cracks into itself,
run and don’t look back
for little pieces of family left behind,
pieces of broken
family hands holding family hands
holding her hands,
but my mother, she walked
so she could always look back
with warmth and remember
how love was made
between butterfly sheets that
weaved souls glowing in her womb

with this soul
she walked, prevented baby from
floating up to the sky if ever
her feet panicked
her thighs parted
her womb fluttered
her spirit surrendered,
forgetting for an instant
to look back

at the home where her sky
touches gentle with her land
hands rubbing her melon belly
baby we belong out there
where fireflies glow instead of bombs

she traced for light like stars
navigating her home,
imagining bombs as fireflies
lighting up slow, their fiery bodies
in explosive reactions
to each others’ glows
one after another in a way
that made her sink to her knees,
close her eyes in prayer
baby, look at these fireflies
they don’t glow as bright as the ones at home

i never saw her bright fireflies
her sky eclipsed by burning bombs
i never saw her people uprooted from homes
leaving behind pieces of family
even as their land cracked
into too many broken bodies

i only felt her steady walk
of keeping her promise and
safeguarding this life inside,
of tips of toes kissing her land
breathing life into her womb
with every step she took
so steady, so steady
even with a limp
so steady so steady so