Moth

Morgan Christie

After J. Robert Lennon’s ‘Owl’

 

Her daughter refused to collect the eggs

from the barn because there was a bat

her daughter said

fluttering around in there; so she kissed her teeth,

grabbed the wicker basket, and trudged across

the dewy grass and through the dawn

lightened door, only to see that her daughter

was right, there was something there, not

a bat, she realized as the flying thing lunged

just above her head and then settled on top

of the broken mold ridden stool leaning

against the barn wall – it wasn’t a bat

but a large brown moth, its wings highlighted

in darker brown ovals in a fruitless scuffle

dusted in angst as it attempted to penetrate

the softly lit glass.  It’s scared, she thought, scared

and confused, so she set the wicker basket down and

carefully took hold of the moth in her hands

preparing to set it free through the half-open door and

she would have done so had the moth not began to flap

its big brown wings with slightly jagged

edges and scratched her palms and said, in a low, suffocated sound

like a sick old blues singer

I’m not lost or scared and I’m not a moth

either

I’m the part of your daughter you don’t understand, and

I fight against the glass not because I want to break free

but because I need to know how it feels; and while the moth’s

short speech made her hesitate

she soon continued across the barn to the now opened door and

released the moth into the morning sun, because she knew it was

all she could do and because it scared her to hold such a thing in her hands

then she went back across the dewy grass and into the house and

took her daughter by the hand and walked her to the barn; she

picked up the wicker basket then passed it to her before she knelt

down and took hold of one of them in her hands to show her

daughter that it was safe enough to collect the eggs. 

Morgan Christie's work has appeared in Room, Aethlon, Moko, Obra/Artifact, Blackberry, BLF Press, as well as others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poetry chapbook Variations on a Lobster's Tale was the winner of the 2017 Alexander Posey Chapbook Prize (University of Central Oklahoma Press, 2018) and her second poetry chapbook Sterling was released last year (CW Books, 2019). She is the winner of the 2018 Likely Red Fiction Chapbook contest, and her first full-length short story manuscript These Bodies will be published by Tolsun Publishing in 2020.

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