After the rain,

long into the dark spring,

on the bank of the River

Eight-Fingered Monk,

in the midst of a sloping,

cream-colored cloud

of wild flowers,

an old man’s hands

flashed and gently

trapped a butterfly.

He held it aloft

fast in the light of

strengthening sun,

veined and translucent

Kallima, fluttering,

sweetly painted wings,

dressed as a falling leaf.

A warming sun froze

a diamond tear

in the corner of an ancient eye —

gnarled fingers parted,

the butterfly freed

floated soft among fragrant jasmine

kissed a white almond-blossom,

fluttered atop hedge rows

touched a quivering lotus heart,

the nestled amid

sap-tears of the giant pine.

— Carol MacAllister

Note: Kallima is also known as an oak leaf butterfly

Carol MacAllister has placed numerous short stories in trade collections, including in Chicken Soup for the Soul, “Happily Everafter.” The Ocean Grove resident has also completed an historical novel, “God Only Watches.”

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