Pipevine Swallowtail Poem

Dylan’s yard – May 17 2008

Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly
(Battus philenor)
Female, dusky brown/black
Her hindwing
Is blotched orange with white
Through sharp blue

She bobs up and down
Heavy, egg-bearing flight
She lands

“I don’t want to
Disturb her too much”
“There we go”
She’s testing the leaves

Her feet sense
Something familiar
In the vine (Aristolochia californica)
Dutchman’s Pipe
That will feed her larvae

“I hope that’s recording”
Her abdomen,
Makes contact
With a shady, fresh-grown stem
She places
One at a time
Transparent orbs

Toxic orange
Powder striations
A millimeter in diameter

“Step back, and …

Say, that is happening
in my yard in San Francisco”

She flies
Leaving the eggs there
“So happy”

quotations by Dylan Hayes
work by Amber Hasselbring