Little Champion

250x360 IMG_0176When I get hopeless about human life,
which quite frankly is far too difficult for me,
I like to remember that in the desert there is a
little butterfly that lives by drinking urine

and when I have to drive to work on Saturday,
to spend an hour opening the mail,
deciding what to keep and throw away,
one piece at a time,

I think of the butterfly following its animal around,
through the morning and the night,
fluttering, weaving sideways through
the cactus and the rocks.

And when I have to meet all Tuesday afternoon
with the committee to discuss new by-laws,
or listen to the dinner guest explain his recipe for German beer,

or listen to the scholar tell, once more,
about his book intended to destroy, once and for all,
the cult of heteronormativity,

I think of that tough little champion
with orange and black markings on its wings
resting in the shade beneath a ledge of rock
while its animal sleeps nearby;

and I see how the droplets hang and gleam among
the thorns and drab green leaves of desert plants
and how the butterfly alights and drinks from them
deeply, with a kind of thoughtfulness.

Credits: Poem is by Tony Hoagland and is published with his permission.
Image: by Cherie Manifest and used with her permission.

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