And knowing I would not see their departure in my time away, I left the three hanging—chrysalises of monarch cats that had fed from a vase at my table—chewing their way as I sat watching, around the leaves and stems of a sand vine wrapped into coils as my centerpiece, before shedding their stripes for gold-studded jade.
Just one, a bit odd, his face not covered by a case, as the others--
the curtain behind which he would change, strangely parted at the tip.
The three, left outdoors on a bench—
open air waiting for wings.
Hours north we traveled, Red Canoe tethered expectantly on top of a car filled with packs and paddles, boxes of food and an extensive assortment of footwear.
Leaving behind the fields of corn and soy,
the cozy old homesteads dwarfed by clusters of huge silver silos,
the dark fertile soil that covers our heavy base of clay,
the tall cell towers stepping beside a broad highway,
until the horizon became thick with trees jutting into a bright sky.
And there sand met clear water, then vanished into blue.
Two empty cases hang—
clear wrappers left on faded leaves where butterflies burst free one morning when only open air was watching, and unfolded their wings to the sky.
And one still peeks from behind the parted curtain, though his face has darkened and his body turned black.
Tens of thousands, minus one, this year, to make the journey.
View more ABC Wednesdays here!