Just for a Moment

Mother called them hummingbird moths
those sphinx spinners drawn to the scent
of petunias that reseeded every year
banks of purple and white now and then
some mutated stripes all sprawled
like loose ladies across the front walk
arms flailing in the evening breeze

their aromatic perfume so deep and mysterious
after a day of summer heat and those moths
darting deep into fluted throats stealing
nectar leaving in their wake bruised petals
releasing even more fragrance so that now

in a place far away I plant tubs full
of their gaudy sisters spatter-painted
deep purples and rosy pinks and deep reds
tiny whorls of salmon and lemon yellow
not really admitting my feeble attempts

to return to that tiny house with bleached siding
where a crooked sidewalk angled to the front door
only to vanish in grass no connection
I’m at a loss, as well, meandering, senseless

not really missing the old place with its bundles
of dark memories but salvaging like how you sift
through attic junk for just one thing to keep
like those late evenings when blooms blurred
in the dusk and the road dust and
just for a moment all of it was sweet.

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