Hope Against Hope by Claude Wilkinson

For weeks, I kept my eye
on a windowpane, the rosette
of eggs left by a callow moth
too near our first cold snap.

I watched them turn through
hoarfrost and wind-chill,
from sheer chalcedony
to the umber of dirt,

not to find out how life worms
its way into light, if they’d
be appleleaf or death’s-head,
sweetheart or emerald,

but for no reason other
than to see if anything
so utterly dead could
somehow rise and fly.


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