West of town, sixty years ago
butterflies arrive like meadows of flowers
sail high in Rocky mountain air
on some majestic crusade

Gram takes my eager hand
we follow the butterflies off rooted path
she tells me to watch for poison ivy
keep close to her side

We happy dance around tall pines
dripping with amber sap smelling
like a tonic, making me draw
in a breath with pleasure

She carries a jar in her other hand
I feel tremendous bustle of excitement
holiday tingle radiates from her palm
we begin to search under every weave of leaf

Sweet wild raspberries start to fill quart jar,
one red miracle at a time they appear under green blankets
lone butterfly lights on another patch
our hopeful fingers follow its flight
we believe, laugh for joy, astonished.

Marianne Lyon has been a music teacher for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews. Nominated for the Pushcart Award 2016. She has spent time teaching in Nicaragua. She was awarded the Napa Country Poet Laureate 2021 title.