My Totem

I’ve become a butterfly person, like the people who collect

frogs, or bunnies or action figures. My house is now filled with

them, and it had apparently provided the theme friends and

family whenever they’re searching for gifts for me. The part I

love best, is that they tell me that when they see a butterfly,

they think of Al and me. What a lovely association.

Of course, the butterflies also appear to be attracted to me!

They’ve landed on my hat, my head, my hand. Now, I have

garden Monarchs, laying eggs in my butterfly bushes, even in

winter, growing increasingly bold in leaving their chrysalises in

plain sight, even letting go of their perch from time to time,

secure in the knowledge they will be cared for—I have the art of rescuing a chrysalis

down to a science.

Once in a while, a Monarch will visit and seem perfectly comfortable with my proximity,

and with posing for pictures. I can’t help but wonder if these are Monarch’s that

emerged in plain sight, or their descendants. I wonder if the offspring are predisposed

to trust?

Selma Mann

*This idea found its way into a poem, Domesticated Monarchs, in Whimsical Warrior,

my second book of poetry.