November 18, 2018
In the midst of its migration,
the butterfly paused to rest
and landed on my wrist,
and the first of a brief flurry
of snow lit and melted on it.
In this way was my short sit
on the porch prolonged
at the beginning-to-be cold
third week of November.
The butterfly took what warmth
from me as it could, I shivered
some, then the snow stopped.
When I stood the butterfly rose
and fluttered from under the roof
and resumed its long travel,
bound for the Gulf Coast maybe,
or Mexico, or farther south still.
Higher mountains than this one
it would have to find its way over.
But through a break in the clouds
a shaft of sun shone on Paradise Ridge
to the south and, the last I could see,
that was where it was headed,
six or seven miles away,
where it might take shelter in the trees
for a night then catch a southward wind
in the morning, and go on.
May it arrive in a few weeks
and alight, as it did upon me,
on the wrist of a little girl
in the camp at Tornillo,
then fly on across the Rio Grande
with its greetings for her mother.