The violets blooming under my apple trees make a fine ground cover, although my neighbor on the other side of the fence is trying to eradicate them from his lawn. Invasive, he says; but native, I reply. I tell him about the Fritillaries, butterflies so dependent on the wild violet that some have not been recorded in over 30 years, with a lifecycle so fragile that one wonders if they have a grudge against reproduction. The males emerge first and by the time the females arrive, weeks later, they are flight-worn, exhausted. The females lay their eggs not on violets but beside violets, hoping their offspring will find their way and overwinter in place. My neighbor asks, Are they pretty? I want to tell him, that they are gorgeous with violet wings and yellow ruffled skirts, but I tell the truth--most are golden with dark veins and splotches. Some are no bigger than a quarter--beautiful, perhaps, in the eye of the beholder, but most people will never notice when they are gone. Cathryn Essinger I am the author of five books of poetry--A Desk in the Elephant House, from Texas Tech University Press, My Dog Does Not Read Plato, and What I Know About Innocence, both from Main Street Rag. My fourth and fifth collections--The Apricot and the Moon and Wings, Or Does the Caterpillar Dream of Flight?-- are both from Dos Madres Press. My poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, The New England Review, Rattle, New Directions anthologies, Calyx, Terrain and other journals. My poems have been nominated for Pushcarts and "Best of the Net," featured on The Writer's Almanac, and reprinted in American Life in Poetry. I live in Troy, Ohio, where I raise Monarch butterflies.