Sad Miracle | Roger W. Hecht

That anything’s alive is miraculous
though I don't believe in miracles. But outside 
the minus-five cold encases the trees, 
stiffens snow. Still, new tracks bisect the field, 
a woodpecker batters a frozen stump, 
& there’s a cabbage white butterfly 
glued to the window above the sink, 
waiting out the naked maples
in the heatless light of a compact florescent bulb. 

On what harvest did it hitch a ride to my kitchen, 
& how will I keep it alive? 

Days pass. It bypasses the plate of rotten cantaloupe
I try to pass off as nectar. The morning sun's 
an ice ball. The trees refuse to flower. 
Days pass indifferent. Flexing its white wings, 
The butterfly dedicates itself to waiting 
out the clock. It's a miracle 
of bad timing with nothing to pollinate 
& no metamorphosis 
except into a relic on my shelf.
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