Butterfly Lover

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The Mourning Cloak
came to the garden
and sat near my foot.
Large, chocolate wings
greeted the sunshine.

Remember when we talked
about the butterfly effect?
You were excited
about that theory.

You talked about butterfly power.
Do you remember?

When the Chilean miners
told about the butterfly in the mine
that saved them from the cave-in,
they talked about how amazed they were
that a butterfly
was down in the dark.
They stopped to watch it
fly around their head lamps
just as the mine collapsed ahead of them.

I didn’t have to tell you, though,
because I already see a curl on your lips.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

8 responses to “Butterfly Lover

  1. Caddo Veil

    Oh my, Ethel–so beautiful I felt my heart knock inside my chest.
    And by the way–a million thanks for freeing me from Spam Prison!! God bless you today, and always.

  2. One special poem, Ethel. I love it!

  3. Anna Mark

    I enjoy how this poem opens into a memory…from your garden to a collapsed mine. And I enjoy the presence of the person you are addressing, the immediacy and importance of the questions you pose. They are awakening and alerting for the reader. I find myself wanting to remember, too, or get into the setting of the miners, and the emotions therein with the butterfly in the dark, and the danger, and the sorrow.

  4. Ethel, I love how you connect with the ethereal presence of your loved one through the presence of this butterfly that sits near your foot – and the last two lines which show your shared “conversation”. This is beautiful and poignant – thank you for sharing it.

  5. I really enjoy the flow and tone of this piece! Nicely done.

  6. This is so exquisite, Ethel, poignant and powerful! The butterfly was definitely a messenger for those miners, and also for anyone at any time…nature is the thread…

    and the last line, speaks so of the unspoken…between those who know each other so well…

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