Came so knowingly close,
as if it knew that I watched
a former design of itself—
as caterpillar striped green & white—
crawl head first down a thick wire
affixed to the brick wall, flowing
slowly down from the second floor
onto an awaiting stick, where
all eight pairs of soft-gripped
slippers walked safely onto
seemingly with immense trust,
(what I imagine to this caterpillar
would be proportionately
an airborne log),
& allowed me to position
the stick near sweet, bright orange
butterfly weed: to feed on,
to raze to the ground. Then
disappear, until emergence
as 4th generation aviator
readying return flight to Mexico.
An evolutionary sense of self,
knowing instinctively, an inbred
navigational patterning, & possibly
a certain kind of gratitude, when it
came so knowingly close,
as if to flutter kiss,

Poem and Photo by Diane Sahms

Diane Sahms* is author of four collections of poetry, including The Handheld Mirror of the Mind. Her work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sequestrum Journal of Literature and Arts, Many Mountains Moving, and elsewhere. She works for the US government and serves as Poetry Editor for North of Oxford.

*Formerly Sahms-Guarnieri