The Comforting Barn, Derry, New Hampshire
© 2008 by Ellin Anderson
|BUTTERFLY, COLUMBUS DAY
Oh, Monarch in your high blue hall,
In time of gun and golden sheaf,
Do you not know that it is Fall?
I took you for a swirling leaf,
Red-amber in the royal domain
Of silken winds, where liberty
Is ridden with an easy rein.
How must I look to one so free,
With pail and paint-brush at my feet,
Earthbound and leaden, here to ply
Between my door and lancing sleet
The colors of the butterfly,
Of pumpkin globe, and harvest wine,
To see me off when, all aglow,
I leave this warm cocoon of mine
To dash against a wall of snow;
To beat against the iron helm
And iron hand, and rule of cold,
That waits to fill your regal realm,
Lay siege to farm and field and fold.
Make haste, to some forgiving clime
Where suns are steady and supreme,
And spend the precious coin of time
Unknowing, in a summer dream,
With all your fellows, numberless
As leaves on branches where you cling,
Neither to worry, nor to guess
What storms may pass before the Spring;
What swift black freshets still may rise
On mornings much too cold for breath,
Where nights of snow and stars disguise
A loneliness too stark for death.
Give me the cold, where I may learn
What ease and pleasure cannot do;
Give me the hearth where I must burn
Warm suns, or never wake anew,
And if you journey here once more
To be my gentle summer guest,
And find bare walls, a broken door,
Leave it at this: I did my best.
© 2008 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or used in any way without written permission from the author.