Tom Paine Under the Eucalyptus

We sat under the eucalyptus tree as wildfires savaged to the south.

the monarchs circled the big fires she whispers & squeezes my hand.

we were huddling with strangers awaiting a new baby & butterflies.

we drove all night around the fires to wait under this eucalyptus tree.

and can’t explain why we huddle here under this eucalyptus tree.

why all these cocooning lies? a few monarchs cling in a fist of legs.

to the black bones under the moon and I hyperventilate in grief.

at sunrise one monarch lingered preened in relief on her red hair.

oblivious to my obvious despair it signaled something with wings.

under her coat I touch her belly my fingers singing to our baby.

the monarch floated up into light and I cringe: I know she knows.

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