I taught creative writing at UNC-Carolina, was on the faculty for 15 years. Have published 6 collections of poetry most recently Tea and The Librarian. Available from Main Street Rag Press. My first novel, Doing it at the Dixie Dew won the Malice Domestic Prize from St. Martin's Press and was published last year. It has done well and the sequel, Wedding Bell Blues is due out 2016. Am working on the third one, Daylily Do Off at the Dixie Dew.
This summer the milkweed
Under my window grew tall
And thin, its leaves small green
Arrows, its flowers fairy white
Clusters. I waited for Monarchs
To come and feed. A orange flitter
Here, a black flicker there.
All summer, this summer
there was none.
Only the summer before
There had been on the milkweed
Branches the green fringe of a million eggs.
And Monarchs in and through.
Then caterpillars black and gold
Their busy legs and hands and mouths
Cutting each leaf, circle by circle
Down to stems and stems to stalk.
When they stopped to rest it was time
To spin a spinnet, attach wormself
Up or down but out of harm’s way.
A fragile tack and spinning
Himself dizzy into jade with a
Gold trim. Once
I saw the loop of a caterpillar
Take one turn and flip himself
Out of this life into the other.
I saw him go black and still,
So still, he seemed dead
on the branch. Then, even as I watched
he grew green and round.
I held his new body warm and full
As he got his gold and wiggled
out of that sack. He unfolded
his origami wings and from my finger
drank new dew, saw the world again.
©2016 Ruth Moose
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