Thursday, April 27, 2006

My Moth Eaten Life

The last breaths of an unbloggable
week were being drawn.
Watched the DVDed first season
of the Fox series “24” in two days;
painted something to watch it dry.

Mired in malaise,
trying to fit square words
into round sentences,
my eye was caught
by movement on the floor.

A moth with one and a half wings
crawled into the halo of my desk light.
Scooped up and placed on the porch,
the yellow angular stripes
on its black wings -- memorable.

Looking online for an identification key,
I was bewildered by unlearned jargon
and over ten thousand known species
in America north of Mexico;
fourteen hundred in North Dakota alone.

Then a search of “moth” and “West Virginia”
found Bob Patterson’s life
list of five hundred plus photographs
with improvised English names.
A quick skim and a few guesses later

I saw my moth,
both wings whole,
Apantesis phalerata,
The Banded Tiger Moth.

I went outside again, but only memory
fluttered around the porch light.
Watching in the sky,
bright enough to cast a shadow,
the eye of Krishna.


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