A pelting against the windshield -
like oil colors on a well-used pallet -
and my son's eyes never looked aside
for the miles the painted ladies came like rain.
Migration. Unpredictable in some
species, but certain as history and not hard
to explain as we hurled toward the Rockies
on the route we'd traveled every year of his life.
He asked how the butterflies knew about freeways,
and laughed when we laughed.
Had we stopped to isolate the vision
of wings, what origins of memory
would have urged our passage? the aisles of throbbing
toward Canada joined to our hearts' dark hinge
of wing-beats - quickened through the pelting;
the veining between us of a psalter
for a thousand miles of flight... alive,