Jasmine weaving itself along the edge of a fence whispers trellis me your secrets until white petals drop to stones with rows of sand mounded by anthills. Fields of lavender replace the scent of lilac. Two monarchs swirl and twirl together from butterfly bush bloom to raspberry kiss then off to jasmine and mottled petals of pink roses, two butterflies exquisitely uncanny in their communion of pursuits over the gate to the slow-growing sunflowers that proclaim summer is actually just beginning. Remain in pair formation for the duration. Wide-winged flutter, the two monarchs remain close to one another in their own known unknowing orbits.
A five-year old wearing a tiara eats breakfast at a picnic table under tree limbs and birdsong. She announces you need to call me Queen Mina Mina. Despite no actual castle, spires in her mind’s eye are tall as a neighbor’s cedar tree that reaches the sky. She envisions a dolphin-filled moat surrounding her grandparent’s deck. Her loquaciousness refuses to wear appropriate attire for a playground at dusk, whereupon she returns home with legs that bugs reported as tasty but lean. She decrees Queens don’t have to take baths if they don’t want to while declaring that chocolate-vanilla swirl cones can stand-in for dinner and proclaims crows never again will swoop down to nab unattended royal scones from her butterfly tea set.
Mary Ellen Talley’s poems have recently been published in Raven Chronicles, Banshee, Mothers Always Write, Flatbush Review and Ekphrastic Review as well as in anthologies, All We Can Hold and Ice Cream Poems. Her poetry has received two Pushcart Nominations. A chapbook is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.