October meets butterflies’
linger in their tortoiseshell design

familiar by the hundreds
alongside spring water
near the trail on which I’m walking, as if

they rest after earlier spring’s call,
annual migration to mate
toward the laying down of eggs
in tobacco brush, snow brush, hidden.

It won’t be long before they’ll hibernate,
leave for lower elevation.

They have their patterns.
Open and close,
open and close.

Their wings convey a sign
before lifting off again
toward rivers of fluttering skies.

Lynne Goldsmith is an award-winning poet who has been published in All-Creatures.OrgInteralia Magazine, Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Not Very Quiet, Plants & Poetry Journal, Red Planet Magazine, Spillway, Thimble Literary Magazine, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and elsewhere. Her first book, Secondary Cicatrices, won the 2018 Halcyon Poetry Prize and was a 2019 Finalist in the American Book Fest Awards, a 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Award Gold Winner, a 2020 International Book Award Finalist, a 2021 Book Excellence Award Finalist, and a 2021 Distinguished Favorite in the Independent Press Awards.