Monarch Butterflies on Joe-Pye Weed

You cling to these late summer blossoms,
uncurl fine filaments, kneading, needing

sweet nectar for your flight. Hinged wings open,
close like ancient Chinese kites,

silk dyed tiger-bright, trimmed with black-ink
calligraphic designs. You feed and flutter,

then lift, tilt in the air, set sail – fragile prayers
flying to the gods. Safe journey.


Poem by Suzanne Rogier Marshall

The author gratefully acknowledges the editors and publishers of The EcoTheo Review, where this poem first appeared.

A retired middle-school English teacher, Suzanne Rogier Marshall has published professional articles, poetry, and a book on teaching writing. Her poems have appeared recently in Sky Island Journal, SPANK the CARP, Cider Press Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and other journals. She is the author of Blood Knot (Porkbelly Press).