by Laura Foley
I want to bury him
though I doubt it’s appropriate
for a butterfly.
Perhaps I’ll climb the icy hill,
trudge through woods and slippery snow,
to place him as close as I can to sky,
in the field he would have floated over,
on his way to Mexico,
if October hadn’t been too cold for flight.
The orange-and-black-winged beauty
thrived, in his screened-in cage,
lit with purple happy lights,
and fed every day by hand,
his proboscis dipped in honey water,
until, on Christmas day,
he birthed three sacs of sperm,
a rare gift for me.
Finding no mate,
he folded his wings and died,
face pressed into the New Year’s daisy
I gave him, as a human lover might.
Laura Foley’s seventh collection of poetry, Why I Never Finished My Dissertation, is due out in 2019. Winner of the Common Good Books poetry contest, the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest, the Atlanta Review Grand Prize, and Foreword Review Poetry Prize, Laura lives with her wife and two dogs in Vermont. www.laurafoley.net