Friday, September 16, 2022

The Lovely Corpse—September Murfin Verse

Back in 2015 Lisa Haderlein, the McHenry County environmental maven, preserver and restorer of wild places, and currently a Democratic candidate for Congress in the Illinois 16th Congressional District posted the accompanying photo on Facebook.  It was taken outside the Starline Gallery in Harvard.  It got me to thinking and I posted this seven years ago on this date.

The Lovely Corpse

Monarchs, they say, are a dying breed.

Not the superfluous Royals of Windsor

            or oil rich Arabs.

They will disappear, too,

in their own good time

but are not our business here today.


I am talking about those golden orange and black

            zephyr riding marvels that by the millions

            used brighten Septembers

            with hints golden autumn yet to come

            on their epic migrations

            from Canadian prairies

            to Mexican piney woods.


They are scarcer with every passing year.

Now each sighting is an adventure

            like spotting some rare songbird

            flitting unexpectedly from bough to bough.


They say the warming world is to blame

            which is tough on common milkweed,

            the migrant’s only diet.




But if I say it out loud,

some Fox News talking head

will scream that I’m a liar and a fraud

and someone will decide that after all

they are illegal immigrants

and likely terrorists to boot

and propose to build a wall net

to ensnare them lest they

infect our purity.


A friend of mine espied one the other day

            and thought to snap a photo,

            but the monarch was not on wing

            or resting on some rare milkweed pod,

            but splatted against the gleaming grill

            of a Jaguar.


Think of all that horsepower

            from the carbon spewing engine

            that cooks the atmosphere

            that kills the milkweed

            yet made this assassination



—Patrick Murfin

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