Butterfly

When Persephone stopped playing outside
sometimes you’d catch a spectral
glimpse of her through the window,
waving at her mother gardening.

One summer, her mother found
a dead red admiral on the path.
It was a mere slip of a thing;
and it must have just expired

fluttering from flower to flower
unfettered in the lonely garden.
The mother put it in a matchbox
which she guarded with her life.

Every year she thought of
new ways to dispose of it;
to set it free through flames
or simply in the act of letting go.

Of course it was magical thinking,
to imagine a ritual
that could heal the heart.
Never was a butterfly so heavy.

Vedbaek

I pick a path by grey-light
to grave 8 at Vedbaek
on the moon’s far plateaus,
among its arid lakes
and crumbling catacombs.

Here is the Mesolithic
mother laid to rest
six thousand years ago,
cradling a child with
two knives by its side

borne with a final blessing
on a swan’s great wing –
to reach eternal Spring.

mother maiden crone anthology pic
An earlier version Published in ‘Maiden Mother Crone’ an Anthology edited by Katie Metcalfe, Slice Of The Moon Press (2020)