Apricot Moon

(For a departing monarch butterfly)

Not many more days like this,

this sitting by the garden we built on the hill,

checking on the pumpkins that spilled through the fence for freedom,

toward risk.

You flew today,

leaving behind the shriveling vines,

bound for warmer places.

Sunlight stirs the embers of intuition,

excites new-birthed cells to rise with the wind.

Through these brief weeks, watched you transcend the form,

brilliant worm taking weed, making the miracle of chrysalis real,

purest green amulet necklaced in gold,

papered skin bursting as pale wings unfold.

I won’t be going with you. We’ve the harvest to bring in.

They say a frost is coming, drear signal to the end;

and the acorns, falling, falling now are rapping on the rocks.

While I dream, you driffle southward as you heed the timeless stir,

seeking sustenance of fall’s last flowers,

split and spilling toward the soil,

finding tattered flags of blooms,

I hope the frost will spare.

(Copyright, Sandy Long)

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