It’s butterfly-dying time
Leaf-grieving and thieving time
Blue wings-against-pavement time
Less praise than appraisal time

It’s foxes hightailing-it time
Bird’s nest-unveiling time
It’s prey-caught-dangling time
In silk strands strangling time

It’s wood-stoves burning up time
First frost delivering time
It’s whip-poor-wills woeful in time
It’s what-you-will, winging through time

It’s wildfire-weathering time
Last-chance-and-gunning-it time
Lives lost believing in time
Least harm in leaving in time

It’s mantises feeding off time
What’s-past-releasing-us time
Cold front confronting-us time
Cicadas’ arcadian time

It’s rainforests blazing through time
Glaciers once greater than time
Bee colonies bleeding through time
Lost stars trespassing in time

Or is it healing time
Grave thoughts, grief leaving in time
What’s sure to follow in time
Foreseen in chrysalis-time

Note: Though some butterflies and moths are known to migrate or hibernate in colder weather, the adults of most species die shortly after the end of their reproductive cycle. Offspring (formerly caterpillars) may “overwinter” in a chrysalis where they develop into butterflies.

Susanna Bauer, All Around, magnolia leaf and cotton thread, 2019. Used by permission.