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