Butterfly Weed


The caterpillar weaving its cocoon

doesn’t expect to emerge a butterfly.

Nor does the seed asleep in the earth

expect to beget a bouquet of blossoms.

Yet here they are, gracing our world

with their fleeting presence —

the milkweed afire in sunlight,

the butterfly fanning its wings

as it sips from this golden goblet

in a cycle repeated millions of years.


Photo: Small Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus microcephalus) and Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea). 

Poem and Photo by Richard Lebovitz

Richard Lebovitz is a former educator and editor living in Atlanta. He is currently involved in rescuing native plants and helping restore wildlife habitats. His poems have previously appeared in Broad River Review, Canary, The Curlew, The RavensPerch, POEM, Sky Island Journal, Tiny Seed Literary Journal and Town Creek Review.