In the garden in the back by the fence,
Toward the end of the narrow brick path
And near the shade of the bordering oaks,
The butterfly hovers in silence.
Skimming salvia, lantana, and milkweed,
Sampling flowers, cluster to cluster,
It alights on a young fire bush
Not two feet in front of me.
It spreads its wings out and then down
Till they lay on the orange red blossoms.
Fingers crossed, it will stay for a while;
I suspect I’ll not move till it’s gone.
The most visible setting in Autumn’s garden,
Milkweed stretches as high as an eye,
With nectar filled goblets to entice passing monarchs,
And ripe virgin leaves to feed royal issue.