Poem 20151208

colder than normal morning
my breath leaves a trail
in the air
when i find her

–a monarch butterfly–

all stillness and perfect
and beautiful
on the ground

i say over and over
“oh no”
as if she can hear me
or respond

when i pick up her
she doesn’t move
or flutter her wings
there is no attempt to escape

i blow warm air over her
willing her to be asleep
stunned by the cold
but no amount of air
from the furnace
that is my lungs
that is my heart
can stir her
brilliant orange wings
her smooth black body

and i take her small death
harder than i have taken
many larger ones

i lay her to rest
near the new plants