By Samuel Green

Some days her main job seems to be
to welcome back the Red Admiral
as it lights on a leaf of the yellow
forsythia. It is her duty to stop & lean
over to take in how it folds & opens
its wings. Then, too, there is the common
Tiger Swallowtail, which seems to her
entirely uncommon in how it moves
about the boundaries of this clearing
we made so many years ago. If she leaves
the compost bucket unwashed to rescue
a single tattered wing from under the winter
jasmine or the blue flowers of the periwinkle
& then spends a whole afternoon at our round
oak table surrounded by field guides
& tea until she is sure—yes—that it belongs to
a Lorquin’s Admiral, or that singular
mark is one of the great cat’s eyes
of a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, then she is
simply practicing her true vocation
learning the story behind the blue beads
of the Mourning Cloak, the silver commas
of the Satyr Anglewing, the complex shades
of the Spring Azure, moving through this life
letting her sweet, light attention land
on one luminous thing after another.

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