Beauty Across Borders
In the beginning it is found on the underside
of its protective habitat, a yellow egg
changing from saffron into transparent grey.
Its tiny head visible beneath its fragile eggshell.
In its newborn capacity it consumes
a measure of itself in milkweed, eats
voraciously to become mobile, ready to pupate.
Its magic gland weaving a silk shield,
a green drop that slowly mutates into a chrysalis
of emerald and gold. Its inner self transforming
into ringed spiracles, multifaceted legs
meant to grip new twigs, hang upsidedown
until one miraculous day, it unfolds
into a stained glass wonder of orange and black.
One blow can crush its fragile form yet Danaus Plexippus
will leave this garden birthplace, rise ballet-like
into a still autumn air, to travel great distances.
Its migration as sure as the seasons of this earth.
It travels without passport, a borderless journey
threatened by unseen terrorists of nature.
As a monarch, it rules over all the insect kingdom
with the power to transmute its tiny frailty
into a vehicle of toughness and sweet
unexplainable memory, alighting everywhere.
Touching briefly on our ungreen existence,
our own frail earthbound selves living in bordered fear.
Born in Newfoundland, poet/artist Peggy Fletcher is author of five poetry collections and five chapbooks, the most recent FROM THE RESERVES, Beret Press. She is married with five grown daughters and is a strong advocate for peace and nature. She currently resides in Sarnia, Ontario.