tiger swallowtail butterfly

The clouds of white snakeroot in my yard host one tiger swallowtail, glamorous as a celebrity in a trailer court. A raven’s metallic croak.

White clouds of shadbush blossoms off in the woods. A tiger swallowtail circles the yard—the silent applause of its great yellow wings.

A tiger swallowtail flies past in one direction, a cabbage white in another. I sit reading Rubén Darío until everything seems symbolic.

The groundhog emerges from her sun-flooded burrow beside the porch and whistles in alarm. The shadow of a tiger swallowtail crosses my legs.

A tiger swallowtail butterfly glows in the strong sun like stained glass. In the shade, a freshly bathed phoebe straightens its feathers.

A silk thread—spiderweb? Caterpillar line?—fetches up against the hairs of my arm, sticky, barely visible. A swallowtail’s random dance.

Yellow stained-glass wings of a tiger swallowtail circling the shadowed yard. The smell of cowshit wafts up from Sinking Valley.