& a slow bend ahead.
There, some jut of rock,
rough edged sedimentary skin.
Footfalls echo on moss, lost.
Bitter crow has taken the loaf, eaten it.
for Theodore Mead
Caught up in net, this one,
gold of old mustard & brown of spent earth,
collected and stored for days uncounted.
They can geolocate a butterfly,
so preserved and ancient, all Victorian,
caught up in its worn down shadow box.
Colorado—so raw and rugged—
mapped on paper, but not in heart,
and a man who forgot to label butterfly wings.
Hesperia Colorado, western branded skipper,
without a name for a century and a half,
pin in a map once its genome was unlocked.
This provenance—origin place, so westward—
lab coated scientists following trails of DNA
that spiral back through time, spinning.
Discovery and origin and papillon flight,
wings that crumble roughly, spent and dry,
shelved again, catalogued, defined, then forgotten.
Taking Down The Stack, Copper Cliff
Almost half a century here and
the first half of that was time
spent with the tall stack
spitting out clouds of sulphur—
tasting it first on your tongue,
then at the back of your throat.
Before that even, the mines
coughed up rain that coated
peony and lilac leaves
with thick powdered silver.
Before that even, stories of how
my dead relatives would hose off
the flower garden every morning at dawn,
the dew clinging stubbornly to stems and
painting the backs of ladybugs so that
even the earwigs mistook them for simple beetles.
Kim Fahner lives and writes in Sudbury, Ontario, where she was poet laureate from 2016-18. Her latest book of poems, These Wings, was published in Spring 2019 by Pedlar Press. Kim’s a member of the League of Canadian Poets, the Writers’ Union of Canada, and a supporting member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She blogs fairly regularly at kimfahner.wordpress.com and can be reached via www.kimfahner.com