The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Judy Neri


At the garden's butterfly show, a paisley beauty
came to rest on my shoulders, folding and opening
dainty wings. I pretended to be a tree
or a rock and it stayed a while, clinging
to my shirt, taking my measure, testing whether
admiration meant respect or a cagy tether.

We animals seem to be weaving ourselves
into each others' lives, like children at camp
who tiptoe in search of marshmallows
over the sleeping bags of others. Not that the lamb
is safe with the lion, or with us, but deer amble
into our yards to graze, foxes scramble

from their forest homes, forced to vacate
by developers, and skulk by manmade ponds.
Crows grumble and squawk on our porches, berate
us in chorus with a hodgepodge of fellow vagabonds.
Soon, I expect, parrots and birds of paradise
will tap at my back door, with hungry eyes.

Copyright 2006-7 by Cook Communication