“Butterflies” by Robert Nisbet

When he was five, he’d amble up the garden,
with Archie, the slow fat ginger cat,
wander through the rows of peas and beans,
listen to the rooks, watch the wheeling,
and love the butterflies, the bursts of colour,
the flickering in the sun.

But when he was ten, this other kid (posh school)
showed him his butterfly book. No way.
By now he loved the crashing things.
Dick Barton, Special Agent. Space. Rockets.

At fifteen they all liked Donegan and Elvis,
formed their own skiffle group, talked
of football, girls and heroes and intrigues.
They walked much less to the woodland now,
and he hankered sometimes for the summer fields,
the bushes, grass, the butterflies whirling.

The café was called The Crossroads, oddly,
and he sat there (he was forty now),
pondering the future, which way, which way,
musing on the solid, habitual things,
when spinning through the café garden
was a bright Red Admiral, moving
in darting, sudden and beautiful directions.

Robert Nisbet, a poet from Wales, UK, won the Prole Pamphlet Competition in Britain with Robeson, Fitzgerald and Other Heroes (2017), and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in the USA with “Cultivation” (2020).

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