seeing red

I never collected butterflies as a child, never owned a killing jar, never pinned spread wings flat on boards or boasted of my trophies to visitors. I did, however, own a butterfly net made from a piece of net curtain, a hoop of wire and a bamboo garden cane – well, maybe my brother owned it and I acquired it – which features in the poem Childhood posted last autumn.

I could also identify just about every adult butterfly in the book, though I was less expert when it came to caterpillars.

Dead cinnabar moth
Last week, then, when I came across the lovely creature in the photo, I knew it wasn’t a butterfly at all. It had to be a moth. In fact it’s a cinnabar moth, and common enough that I am surprised I’d never seen one before.

The final lines of the poem Childhood are:

The butterflies have flown away;
their colours paint my dreams.

I’m wondering now if in fact it is moths like this that add that dash of dream colour.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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