Swallowtail by Gloria Monaghan

The blue butterfly emerges along the path in the dunes
low to the ground near Queen Anne’s lace:
polyxenes, swallowtail
whatever name you call her,
she is like the dust on your ankle in the heat of July.
An early slipper moon, Venus
each one present in the other’s view.
Years ago men wrote about the moon,
called her Cynthia, as if it were a woman so close to their heart
held in early autumn like the forever beat
of high summer when clothes fall away from the body
in some sort of sad departure.
An early green tiny worm made its way
into my home, and I opened the door and set it free.
Gloria Monaghan is a Professor at Wentworth University. She has published five books of poetry. Her poems have appeared in Alexandria Quarterly, NPR, Poem-a-Day, Nixes-Mate, Mom Egg Review, among others. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and the Massachusetts Book Award. Her book False Spring was nominated for the Griffin Prize.

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