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Green-Striped Darner.

                   --for Carla Procaskey
 My sister-in-law bought a bolt of bridal veil
       from a store that was closing,
because the blueberry bushes, in their well-drained soil,
      were daily losing
too many to the birds. So we wrapped them and
      let the navy clusters ripen,
until I gentled the fingers of one hand
      and in the morning rain
composed my face, not for doubt, but to accept
      a kindness without consequence,
and picked. Then I saw an insect had been trapped
      under the foamy tents,
a beauty, a green-striped darner dragonfly,
      Aeshna verticalis,
its black lace wings as if drawn by Aubrey Beardsley,
      its huge nightmare eyes.
I had watched it score the pasture air with silver,
      or the surface of a lake,
in the afternoon sun. But now it just lay there
      forlorn and humble, like
an old scab or a scorched slip of blueberry wood:
      vanquished, each neon chevron,
and its abdomen's row of green lights dead
      like a street after a hurricane.
I wondered: would I lay my body so straight
      when the time came,
and abandon the pretty shorthand of dash and dot
      that makes me who I am? 
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Author:Kirchwey, Karl
Publication:Southwest Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jun 22, 2016
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