A Poem by Stacey Curran

MONARCH MATRIARCH

I know it was a butterfly bush,

So the flitting insect belonged there.

But it is October 1st, and it is your birthday,

And it is the exact same kind of butterfly we found together,

Maybe forty years ago?

In what I thought was woods,

But was really a patch of grass with a few trees.

You acted like it a was forest,

So it was.

As we came upon the fading insect with its badly damaged wing,

I watched you straighten, and then swoop,

Gently you held the monarch for me to see.

You pointed to the markings,

And told me that it was trying to make a trip,

One almost as long as the one your parents had made.

They arrived intact,

But we all share the damage.

When you told me we could bring it inside,

I saw in your face we couldn’t save it.

But, you let me make it a house,

With water and grass,

We put it in the light.

And you told me to give it love.

When I was gone,

And it was gone,

You framed it and hung it on the wall.

At first I cried when I saw it,

Even though I knew.

And even though I knew,

The last time I saw you, I cried.

It is October 1st.

I have a framed picture of you.

About the contributor

Stacey Curran
Stacey Curran was a journalist, a middle school teacher, and now works in higher education. A New England Press Association award winner, with essays in The Boston Globe Magazine, several weeklies and anthologies, she writes poetry, essays, and contributes to various Medium publications. She swears she will finish her novel some day.

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