New poem: Question Period

I wrote this yesterday afternoon after being driven from my office by multiple cement drills boring into the wall to anchor a new layer of brick. Sure was more peaceful out back. —DH

Question Period

On the grass by the satellite dish
a number of small yellow butterflies
flit between an equal number of dandelions,
gathering up a last collection of fall nectar.

I set aside my obsessive self-absorption–
Who I am? Why do I always do the things
I do?
–and consider instead these smaller
mysteries on the October air.

Are they yellow because the dandelions
are yellow?–and if so, why two shades lighter?
Will they deepen in color the longer they sip?
Would this butterfly be red, if it fed upon roses?

And why do they all go from one dandelion
to another, taking only a morsel from each,
when each could take its fill from just one bloom,
sparing fragile wings a lot of pointless labor?

The Amish man, walking across the lot
to harness up the pair of chestnut mares
he stashed behind the doctors’ dumpster
would probably say, “God made them that way.”

And even his doctor might agree, or even me.
But that only pushes the question back a bit.
Eventually I have to ask it: Who is God?–
Why does he always do the things he does?

That’s way deep for break time on a sunny day,
so I resume my contemplation of butterflies.
The Amish man regards the twin brown rumps
in front of his face, then gives the reins a flick.

Dale Hobson

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