I couldn’t figure out why the word speckle would make me feel this way, so figuring I had the definition wrong, I looked it up in the dictionary: “a small patch of color.”
Reading this, I thought of fireflies. Do fireflies bring out the mystery and magnificence of a July Saturday night? I chuckled at my question, but then thought, Yes, yes, they do. I think they suggest — brightly — that there is more to the night than meets the eye.
As a kid, the minute it was warm enough to wear flip-flops, I started looking for fireflies. After my dad’s charcoal grill had cooled from dinner, after I’d crossed the Eisenhower overpass and waved g’night to the Sears Tower on my way home from the pool, after eating the ice-cream drumsticks my mom always stocked in the freezer, the fireflies came out.
As a teenager, I remember their flicker of light while I talked to a boy I probably wasn’t supposed to be talking to. The Chicago skyline, the light houses glittering over Lake Michigan, even fireworks were no match for these creatures’ sporadic dappling of the night sky.
At twilight, after the neighborhood pool that we can see from our backyard closes, I’ll stand on my deck and see that the water has settled. I’ll see that the golfers on the course have finished their round and are huddled together, having a drink and sharing stories. I’ll see that the trees are swaying overhead, their hush bringing in the night. I’ll see the fireflies’ lighted dance, and I’ll understand why speckle makes me excited.
What speckles in July? What patches of color or hints of light do you see? What glistens in the night? Write a scene that speckles. It could be about something specific (the firefly), or maybe you want to try your hand at writing so that the tone or mood is like a small patch of color. If you go this route, try not to use the word speckle at all.
As always, you can write a poem, but here’s a chance to write a paragraph, or a short scene — creative nonfiction or fiction — if you wish. You can drop your piece in the comments or leave a link to your own website.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Katie that we enjoyed:
mini handheld fireworks
twirl in circles, swirl figure eights
“Callie is brave and honest and humble and hilarious. If you’re a teacher, she will rekindle your joy of the classroom and renew your belief in the power of story. If you’re just a reader looking for wisdom in the pages of a book, Callie will help you to trust yourself, so you can get at your own story.”
—Lisa McGovern, Amazon Reviewer
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