August 11, 2014

The Butterfly

Taking a sabbatical on the bridge’s bannister
— a momentary flex or two of wings a major
interruption in your short life-span —
I notice that your dappled right-hand wing
has lost a section of the dexter chief
of your escutcheon, your family crest thus dis-
emblazoned by a proper relic of
some former battle with a spiderweb.

You rest — and when I move you flutter off,
but then return, to bask another moment,
to lengthen our unspoken consultation;
finally to flutter off and by — a Viceroy
or a Monarch (I too ignorant of
the heraldry of Lepidoptera to know) 
but rested, ready to reclaim the air
with wounded wing.

Envoi
You know my wounds, Lord; some of them you gave me,
some I gave myself. I still will fly —
but with your help, for you alone can save me.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG, 2006

3 comments:

JCF said...

"a momentary flex or two of wings a major interruption in your short life-span"

If you posted this today, Tobias, before the revelation of the death of Robin Williams, you were (tragically) prescient...

RIP, Robin.

John-Julian Swanson, OJN said...

Ah, how delicately lovely! And how horrendous the harm done to an unoffending, indefensible butterfly!

John-Julian, OJN

Tobias Haller said...

Thank you, JCF and John. No, I did not mean this as a tribute to Robin W., though I do see it as that in retrospect. So often the greatest comedians nurse hidden or not-so-hidden wounds...