Lucinda Trew


on the wrong side of summer
the moth adorns screen door
pewtery wings spread
in bi-lateral symmetry

affixed to mesh like a medal of war
pinned to proud chest or cruel
spreading board

still as fossil, chalky pale of limestone
its pattern calls to mind army fatigues
boys headed for Fort Benning
and emblems of their own

we watch for movement—
thorax pulse, flutter of fringe
the celestial pull of an overhead light

but the moth is frozen in time
standing at attention, lying in wake
and we can’t look away

it is an optical illusion, cubist art
of wings indistinguishable
from the wire weave he rests upon

then a passing shadow or slinky cat
the jangle of chimes
will rouse us from reverie
and wondering about the mystery
of moths
and the frailty of flight

we will startle, look away
leave for things in need of doing
regretting as we turn

the druid-like ruin
that found its way inside
to surrender on an August porch
the door will slam—as screen doors do—
a staccato explosion
shattering calm
turning argent wings
to dust