How do you do it, I want to ask the mothers gathered at the table, nearly identical in silk hose, cool, marbled jewels at their throats— but I would probably be accused of being over-earnest, of making too much out of nothing. The secret’s in the shortening, someone offers. Don’t overwork it, says another; have some more pie, the blueberries are especially sweet this season. Who notices the butterfly that seems to keep changing sizes, that turns out to be two butterflies among the ivy? Someone is delighted. Someone says How lovely, how sort of like a tortoise-shell hair ornament! I need a miracle, or something close to one; if this is a sign, that one wing falling away to unmask the other, I’m willing to grasp at it. I’ll bow my head, stand very still and wait for the slightest dusting of pollen on my lashes. I’ll keep wakeful watch through the night, whisper shreds of prayers I can still remember. You may not hear them, but I want to believe they’re there: imperceptible currents traced by a banded wing, orange and red against a field of dark black.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.