Bending in the goldenrods, my brother is brushed
on his arm with the powder of a gypsy moth’s wings.
My brother holds it up by its caterpillar hairs, bent
by the gossamer wind. In a Moxie bottle’s warm neck,
its white heart flutters against the green catalyst of glass,
black antennae and the feeble of its spider legs blowing
like crabgrass in the fall wind. I wonder if he remembers
our shared ancestry—gypsy mothers that hung sheets
between two birch trees like pairs of moth wings
to dry in August—when here, motherless, my bother
pins its wings to an oak to dry like so much laundry.
Copyright © 2016 by Megan Gieske. Originally published in Ursa Literary Review formerly Stolen Island Literary Review on May 10, 2016, by the National Poetry Foundation through The University of Maine.