The moth disappeared from her cocoon today
like a missing child when I wasn't looking.
The cocoon appeared to be
an empty womb wrapped in a dry leaf.
And I am left to imagine what became of her.
If she didn't fly,
maybe she crawled away
with her too large wings tented over her body,
awkward of her immature beauty.
Her gossamer wings, white as a woman's frail cheek,
are made of tiny scales that could rub off like powder
on some male that brushes against her.
She may leave her eggs lying around in a pattern,
a stunt too slight
to attract his affection.
Or caught up in a delusion
she thinks spins around a better world,
she may flutter at a flame
until she is burned to death,
her beautiful wings panting.
* * *
Deborah Quigley Smith has published poems in Melic Review, Long Pond Review, Sequoya Review, and Poetry Miscellany, as well as other print and online journals. She has an English degree from Harding University and currently lives with her husband in Quigley's Castle, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In addition to poetry, Debbie writes international thrillers, one of which was recently selected as a semi-finalist for a national prize. She volunteers in the Community Writing Program, mentoring students on plot and character.