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Yellow butterflies return  
to oaks in the grove. 
They accompany a landscape 
gone to seed, ragged 
and wet in the sunlight. 

Their coming signals
a betweenness, something 
in-wait and resistant to linear 
time-framing with blinders,
the view right-now. 

We can’t hear  
concussions erupt across  
other fields and parking lots—  
but here small membranous  
wings become  
beautiful debris. 

Photo by Marek Omasta on Unsplash

L. Ward Abel

L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals (Rattle, Versal, The Reader, Worcester Review, Riverbed Review, others), including a nomination for a Pushcart Prize, and he is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including his latest collection, The Width of Here (Silver Bow, 2021).  He is a reformed lawyer, he writes and plays music, and he teaches literature. Abel resides in rural Georgia.