A butterfly that brought back memories

Hi everyone,

I took this picture yesterday. The little guy on the wet leaves is a blue hairstreak. 20150829_184153_resized When these butterflies fly, you see their beautiful blue wings. Sometimes they congregate in large numbers around a source of moisture.

20150829_185150_resized Seeing this lone blue hairstreak brought back memories of my butterfly collecting days.

I lived outside the city and often roamed meadows and pastures armed with my long handled net. The pastures often made walking a challenge thanks to the many cows our landlord kept. My reward for tempting the awful fate of stepping in a cow patty was the swarms of blue hairstreaks I sometimes found there. They loved the moisture and didn’t mind the smell so they often decorated patties with their dainty blue presence.

This, of course, presented me with a dilemma. Much later, in my 50s, I wrote a poem about it for a collection I called THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS. My editor, Bernice Cullinan, was a professor at New York University and although she hailed from Ohio (as I recall) she had been a city girl for a long time and was quite put off by my poem.

I resisted her efforts to eliminate the poem from the group but still hadn’t won the negotiation until I spoke at a conference in Atlanta and Bee slipped in the back of the room in time to hear me read the poem to an audience of giggling teachers who applauded afterward and by so doing rescued my poem. Here’s the poem.

David L. Harrison

in the middle of the path
a cow patty
bigger than a dinner plate

Smelly pie
with blowfly raisins

Melting in the sun

How can your charm
these butterflies
these dainty jewels
in sky-blue tights
to dance around
such disgusting pastry?

My net at the ready
I stand
pondering how
to swoop up the jewels

And leave the pie.

Later Sandy found a praline pastry called Cow Pie in a shop and we mailed it to Bee. All was forgiven. We even wrote a book together. Bee died recently and I miss her.

Good memories.


4 comments on “A butterfly that brought back memories

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