Up Close and Personal

Originally written Late April, 1976 - Reposted March 17, 2000

Earlier today, I sat out in the sun where not that long ago I was splitting wood under the light of a frosty full moon.

I was taking in the springtime when it came back, and landed on my left hand. I picked up my pen, and began to write as I remembered my encounter on the road, just over a week ago.

Its wings are trimmed with white and ringed with royal blue that is encased in black. As I hold it up to the sun, its wings are transparent, delicate. It flutters them most frequently on my finger.

A long snout deliberately continues to feel my thumb while on each side, two feelers stick out so perfectly. Each feeler is tipped in yellow. Up close and personal, the eye is black and white, like a checkerboard square. It has white feet with very small appendages like toes, on the bottom of each leg.

The interior of its wings are a rust brown, which becomes more saturated closer to its head, and lighter toward the tail.

Its body seems to be covered with a very fine hair, long and fibrous.

Each one of its two wings is really divided into two parts, the front wing overlapping the rear. They are edged in white, although they are speckled with black on the forward side of each wing. The wings appear to be veined, like leaves in the fall.

Turned to its side, it appears to have a beak, and has a bird’s profile.

When I touch the feelers they raise up toward the back of its head.

I touched it to my nose, and it tickled.

As soon as it took leave of me, I ran into the cabin to get my camera, hoping that it would return.

It did not.

So I write, and if nothing else, it’s memory remains, a memory from a warm spring day in the northern woods.

(click for larger image)

Same one, maybe.

Same species, probably.

Personally I’d like to think it was the same one.

The picture was taken on the road a week earlier, but now with the writing, the memory is forever.