This entry is part 69 of 92 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2011


“You write to become immortal, or because the piano happens to be open, or you’ve looked into a pair of beautiful eyes.” ~ Robert Schumann

Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus 1758)

Little herald of the soul, more sedate
than the hummingbird who comes
in search of sugar, who flashes in and out
of the emerald leaves to drink
nectar from the throats of flowers—
you circle the porch and yard three times
before coming to rest behind my chair.
At first, I think your name has come
from the same springs as reverie,
that wistful song spun from childhood.
And it could very well be, though your
bistre cloak, sooty umber edged
with blue or white, lies open like the covers
of a book of reckoning. The chimes
clink half-finished tunes in the garden
and I hold my hand over my heart
because I know it knows no rest:
it does not want to mourn what
passes from this life, just yet.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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