(Tritina – a mini Sestina)
My lids can shield the light but not the heat.
I lift them once every seven steps, and blindly
let them fall again behind my feet.
Then red, inverted shadows guide my feet
to crunch along this clearing through the heat,
for seven steps more, and a bit less blindly
but still blindly.
Trust me. Go. Move, feet.
Get outta the south if you can’t stand the heat.
For heat waves tend to be less inclined to blindly obey than feet.
Mid winter freeze, a lonely sweet perennial
rides the breeze that chills her open spiracles.
The journey long, the milkweed worth its cost to her,
she gratefully sticks out her ovipositor.
Then flies away, her eggs to wake in springtime,
to feast on this alluring purple milkweed.
She doesn’t know the secrets of the swallowwort…
This beautiful, invasive Spanish import
which poisons tiny princes upon hatching;
They eat the leaves and die a larva thrashing.
The queen, unknowing, dooms them to extinction,
powerless to make such a distinction.
How sinister! Of that black swallowwort
to masquerade as any other milkweed.