A Great Wheel Beginning to Turn Again

When they’ve all flown the coop,
every last one of them,
without so much as a thank-you
(though there were times, there were certainly times),
when there’s no one left to worry about
and check for
and love,
no need for milkweed
good weather
favorable winds
and hope,
then maybe you can imagine
a great wheel beginning to turn again,
a clattering of wings
that you can’t hear yet,
and if you can’t imagine, then
you learned nothing, are nowhere
when it’s four-o’-clock, already dark.

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One of the Main Reasons I Wrote Almost Nothing This Summer

To tell you the truth, I preferred staying silent,
just tending caterpillars, releasing butterflies.
There are no prizes for butterflies — though
some people post fantastic numbers, how many
they’ve raised, so I can use that as a yardstick of
my worth, if I ever need another one. But
most of the time, I’m just cleaning poop
(calling it frass to show that I know), sewing
chrysalises or chrysalids or chrysalides back up
if they fall, then reaching in to help them out,
the new butterflies, just as dazed as I am
to see the sun, to get the vague idea
of something else they need to do,
someplace else they should be.



Instars: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 28

The balls of frass
are larger now,
a simple matter of
more leaves in,
more leaves out.
Filaments waggle,
feet undulate,
a puzzlement of
parts that won’t
be needed just
a few days from
now. Now is
almost constant
chewing, with
pauses to split
the skin, and
then to grab,
another leaf.
So many view
as a miracle—
how surprising,
then, that it
comes down to
this chewing,
this effort,
this poop.