The Nearly Extinct Butterfly - Eumaeus Atala Poey Hairstreak

The Nearly Extinct Butterfly

Eumaeus Atala Poey Hairstreak

When sitting amongst nature
Listen to the sounds
Close your eyes and imagine us
Black and blue we fly
The butterflies abound
Long ago there was a time
When the distant drum beats flowed
And all of nature’s friends
Lived amongst a balanced goal
Native Americans roamed the lands
Sustained a life in the wild
Grateful to their surroundings
They cultivated with style
They mashed the roots of Zamia
A small palm like ancient plant
A starch to survive their existence
Future nourishment for resistance
In a wet bend called Arch Creek
A natural limestone bridge amazed
There the Coontie plant was abundant
Upon the leaves we lay our eggs
Then came the settlers of a foreign land
They took over and a mill was made
Took the recipe for themselves
Claimed our wheat and called it arrowroot
They almost wiped us out
In this southern place by the water
We were destined to not survive
But it will not be when it comes to me
The Atala Hairstreak won’t retire
Today, a blue streak flock
Of bright red bottoms
Flutter freely through the sky
Thriving on the Coontie plant
Their necessary life event
Now, Atala lives with pride.

art and poem by D. H. Lasky – aka Hannah Lasky