MY LADY SHE IS A CARNIVAL BUTTERFLY ONE DAY LATE IN JULY

Flying copper hair under twin barrettes swing out on two sides like sun- 
kissed angel wings in the light, hinged and held firm under her hairline, 
Small Copper flutters to sun-braised colour, stopping to sniff at a hint 
of ragwort, fleabane, and buttercup, grouped flower to moth-eaten 
flower, she picks a handful, throws the blooms high to fall like 
confetti, careless to Monarch, who set heart on the dazing 
yellow patterns and followed their flight to flutter down 
fast and so we kneel, oh not to praise Ra, or whoever, 
but the small carnival of now, with beetles and wood-
lice crawling, and the ladybirds and lime green lace-
wings and aphids just hanging lazy on the air, and 
later, how we’ll skip hand in hand down the same 
lane of life and memory, pigtails flying again 
on a sepia coloured day, a giggling sugar 
rush memory of being out late, teatime 
was called some hours ago, but it’s 
summer summer summer... and 
who wants to go home with so 
much to explore and all the 
butterflies simmering in the 
hot dusty air... when, with 
a flutter and disengage 
she’s off and all race 
you! to the big tree 
and back, or let’s 
go grab our bikes 
and get Slushies 
to slurp on and 
we’ll blue up 
our faces and 
grin down the 
end of the day, 
and sit on the 
gate, swinging 
our legs in the 
shadows 
getting 
longer

Sarah Wallis is a poet & playwright based in Scotland, UK. Recent work is at Beir Bua, The Madrigal, Spectra and Inkdrinkers, forthcoming in The Broken Spine and Ample Remains. She has two chapbooks, Medusa Retold, available from @fly_press and Quietus Makes an Eerie from Dancing Girl Press, with How to Love the Hat Thrower due next year from @SelcouthStation. She tweets @wordweave and you can find out more at sarahwallis.net