Poetry Shelf Occasional Poems: Hebe Kearney’s ‘monarch wings’

monarch wings

risingholme park
ten years before the
/ earth cracked open /

the pine trees were filled with sleeping butterflies

looking up
sails of their orange wings
closed to triangle points
nestled in the needles
childhood haze / gold in memory

and then one night suddenly
/ frost /

looking down
the next day
orange confetti / green grass
disembodied wings
fluttered from death

we gathered their softness / into a basket

went to the dairy on the way home
and when man behind counter saw
eyes went wide / heard him thinking:
butterfly murderers
and i just didn’t know how to
/ explain /

Hebe Kearney

Hebe Kearney (they/them) is a poet who lives in Tāmaki Makaurau. Their work has appeared in publications including: Mantissa Poetry Review, Mayhem, Starling, samfiftyfour, Tarot, takahē, and Poetry New Zealand Yearbooks. You can find them at @he__be on Instagram.

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