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Selected poems from Seeking Habitat

Pinyon Publishing, 2022

Cecropia Moth

I may never see your kind again—secretive

as you are and not given to public display.

In anyone’s lifetime, you may appear but once.


It was well after midnight and we’d made

the drive through dense, disorienting fog—

past Hazleton, Wilkes Barre, then beyond 


past Scranton, through Matamoras and over

the Delaware, to 42 and then up the bend past

Rio’s old Quarry Hill Cemetery to these woods,


summer home since childhood. And there,

with spread wings, you were right at the doorway,

unmoving in the shining porch light. Come forth


from the dark of forest shadows, this

summer night’s invitation to look and look

and be astonished. And who wouldn’t be?


Your patterned, regal presence: each

banded, eyed wing like its own galaxy,

conjoining at your body well-dressed


in orange fur and a white ruff; your head

topped by black, feathery antennae

attuned to all the night’s finer frequencies.


When the others had climbed the stairs to sleep,

I went back out, lingering on the porch to gaze

at you again. I knew by morning you’d be gone.

Back to Selected Poems from Seeking Habitat

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