John B. Lee | Port Dover, ON | LCP member since 1982


Ill Beauty

I am watching the little girl
snipping milkweed leaves
to feed the fat larvae
she has brought indoors
set in the deep prison
of a brown box …
she holds in her hand
a clutch of green
a ragged bouquet of ugly
autumn withered old-veined things
a veritable gluttony
meant for the thickening of the worm
and she also insists upon
scissoring the chrysalis she finds
she has thread and glue
in the house meant for fastening
she will hang them all
like an elderly woman’s chuchka
knickknacks from the orient
bric-a-bracs from the far east
imagine the weak-winged monarch
waking in the warm corrugation
of her urban bedroom
trying the windows
fluttering between sash and curtain hem
like wind-stirred price tags

***
John B. Lee is the author of over sixty published books.  His work has appeared internationally in over 500 publications.  He is the recipient of over 70 prestigious awards for poetry.  He was appointed Poet Laureate of the City of Brantford in perpetuity in 2005 and Poet Laureate of Norfolk County 2010-2014.  The poem, “Ill Beauty” is from his most recent collection, In the Muddy Shoes of Morning, (Hidden Brook Press, 2010).

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