The pensive woman walks
With a butterfly on her palm,
She says the orange-spotted
Beauty is dead
But I see no torn wings,
The great spangled fritillary
Rests, waiting for the sun
To pump fluid into its wings,
And the smiling woman sets it
On the earth, and a wing stretches.
A yellow orb spider injects its
Poison, the speckled butterfly
Shocked, painted lady frozen
In death (its last frantic breath
Blaming me for not saving it),
Its dazzling beauty drained–
Body of Chrysalis, orb baby
Feast served with cricket parts–
Its afterlife skyward and in tales
Told by mourning painted lady cousins.
About Eugene Jones Baldwin
I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play.
I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website)
I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.