Red admirals and small tortoiseshells

By Susan Grindley

It’s still a mystery how they got in,
the dozen-and-a-half dead butterflies,
why they went there to dissipate their beauty.
I rearranged them into two straight rows
on the blue cushions of the window-seat –
a lepidopterist’s field-mortuary –
in late October up in the turret-room.

It was as if the red-brick house itself,
had sent its flying corps, like fabric swatches,
from darker, redder rooms downstairs,
from hiding-places on Bokhara rugs,
red chenille tablecloths, red satin quilts,
to seek out the last pockets of resistance
to its soft furnishing dictatorship of red.

« Back to Magma 47