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.

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


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 said...

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

John-Julian, OJN

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG 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...