John Gilgun
Mister Monarch Butterfly in Transit

Monarch butterflies are migrating through Joetown.
There should be millions of them
but times are hard for Monarch butterflies
and I've only seen four so far.
One flew through the open window of my car
and landed on my leg.

It remained on my leg,
this orange and black wing-ding thing,
its antenna flicking back and forth,
taking in the texture of my jeans,
a long way from Zacatecas, its destination.
"Hey, Mister Butterfly! What you doin' on my laig?"

I thought it flew out the window again,
but this morning I found it on the floor of the car,
down near the gas pedal, sleeping there.
I picked it up carefully and carried it outside.

"Goodbye, Mister Butterfly. When you sleep
do you have nightmares? It's 2,000 miles
to Zacatecas and that would give me nightmares."

It flew up into the pin oak and stayed there.

"Mexico is in the other direction, Mr. B.
Look, I'm pointing. It's down that way."

It rose up out of the pin oak, got is bearings
and flew off in the direction of Kansas City.
I could tell it was thinking about the resin
on the flaky bark of the pines in Zacatecas.
I could see into its butterfly mind
which was lunar cold and agate bright.

Old Mr. B. lives in the eternal present,
and like the little sparrow Edith Piaf
whispering her final words to Jean Cocteau...

Regrets nothing.

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