March 25, 2023

The Death of a Butterfly

In the botanic garden I watched the death of a butterfly:
papilio glaucus, not golden but whitish, faded,
tried to land on a purple aster – and couldn’t,
slipped from petals, leaves, fluttered aimlessly,
sank into the weeds, fell to the ground,
and it seemed it would stay there. Suddenly, amazingly,
still fluttering aimlessly, it flew
through the tunnel among the stems,
then above the flower-patch,
where the wind caught it and carried it over the hedge,
over the wall, beyond the garden, to a neglected part of the park.
A cool day for early August, 73 degrees, sunny,
intense bright blues, intense deep greens,
a beautiful day to die, a beautiful day not to.