Ode to a Sulfur Butterfly

Of all the hues of summer,

I remember you as pale

yellow, with little shimmer,

your name unpleasant smell.

Not legend, like the monarch,

or glamorous swallowtail,

or self-important admiral;

I didn’t see you well …


until you left the garden,

and only now I tell

you, they say you bring good fortune,

happiness and wellness,

joy, rebirth, and youth.

(Perhaps I’d been deceived

by appearance, from the truth.)

The ancient tribes believed

you manifested souls

of children they had cherished—

if seamen glanced at you

pre-voyage, they would perish.


How many souls shimmered

before my eyes this summer,

and how many rebirths

while I ignored

your timid color?





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