Tuesday Poem – Butterflies from Moths

She wakes me in the night
an angry voice in the hallway
heels on a wooden floor.

She comes out while I’m on the deck
leaning forward in the folding chair
turning pages eagerly.

She says Hi.
I say how are you?
Hung-over.

She pauses and I follow her gaze.
Is that a moth or a butterfly?
I say it’s a butterfly

you can tell because it rests with its wings up
not spread.
She says it looks like it’s dying.

and recedes indoors.
I think of the child’s view
that all creatures have an opposite

frogs have toads
mice have rats
and there are tricks to telling them apart.

© Saradha Koirala first published in Hue & Cry issue 4: Champion This! 2010 – out now

Tuesday Poem

5 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – Butterflies from Moths

  1. First poem (first incident) I’ve read of a butterfly appearing in the night. Can you remember what it looked like? Size, colors, design. Obvious guess — a Monarch. How many times in bright New Zealand my eyes have momentarily chased the hysterical but easy-to-catch Magpie Moth — oh, just a moth — when hoping for so much more than that.

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