Written for my Write For MY Life class yesterday
*Mary Oliver’s The Gesture
On the lemon tree a scrap of flimsy stuff flapping in the wind caught my eye. Turned out to be a monarch butterfly hidden among the leaves. I bring my camera with me, as I creep close to explore. I am use to stalking butterflies
Snap, closer snap again, closer still, she makes no move to escape. She just flaps in the shade. Some unseen hand is holding her tight to a lemon leaf.
Only one orange and black leaded glass wing is visible. Here curious insect face rises above adorned with twin antenna waving slowly in the breeze. Her spotted color rest on the serrated leaf’s edge.Gentle black claw like hands fold together as they reach out across the green leaf.
“Anything worth thinking about would have seemed’”a prayer *
Supplication to a high we power for freedom? Benediction for the suffering world? Or a search for inner strength?
I take it upon myself to be her savior. I reach a single finger toward her hands, she struggles to take it. Finally with all 6 of her legs and elbows bending at odd angles, she frees herself and climbs aboard my finger, where she becomes a blur of orange and black. With an enormous effort she achieves lift-off, awkwardly flying at odd angles. So awkward, I want put u hand under her as I would a child learning to walk. Independently at last she does fly on. Up to the top of the garden gate where she finds purchase. There she enjoys the sun; moving her wings, delicate solar collectors, open closed, but not flying from her new place . She takes strength from the light and warmth around her
I watch, waiting for the Monarchs next move, but it doesn’t come. I stand guard a long time, longer then usual until chores call me inside . I keep peeking at he from the kitchen window she’s still there. And she is…
Then when I look one moe time, her place in the garden is empty. The Monarch has flown away with prayers for the world on her cathedral wings.