Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Raising Butterflies


Holding hands (photo/Paula Rogovin)

Raising Butterflies

By Jan Barry


Raising butterflies takes work,

Fine motor skills and patience—

Start with finding a fly speck of an egg

On a milkweed leaf,

Put the leaf in a jar,

Cover it with mesh—

Wait a couple-three days

Until a tiny caterpillar appears

On the leaf—

Clean the tiny poop out of the bottom

Of the jar every day—

Drop in a fresh leaf

For the growing cat to munch on—

Repeat a few times—

One day a very large caterpillar

Climbs up the side of the jar

And creates a chrysalis

Hanging on the mesh cover—

Now you’re hooked—


Look it up—

This process of becoming

A butterfly takes a week or two—

Check it out every morning—

Lunch time—supper time—

Before bed—

See the chrysalis develop a gold ring—

And one day turn translucent,

Become a sack of water—


Oh my god—the next morning

A monarch butterfly pops out—

Flaps its wings—

Wants to go out into the world—

So—cell phone camera ready—

You release it

Into the stormy, dangerous world