Swallowtail

30 October 2009 // Miscellany

by Will Burns.

I saw it dive and swim a distance and
I thought I remembered something
vaguely. I carried on after it, up the
canal, back the way I had come from. I
watched it surface, and float along
and then dive again, over and over.
The water was clear, and you could
see the legs, kind of like frog’s propelling
the tiny body underwater.

I reached my father’s house and we
talked about what I had seen.

It was a little grebe, he said, a dabchick.

I remembered the word, and I liked it.
Then I remembered butterflies and a
feeling like the air was moving around
my head up by the monument on the hill.
There are no butterflies up there now.
The gorse has never really recovered
from that fire ten years ago.

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