Monarch

For the first twelve years we lived in this little log cabin along the creek
I tried to grow a perennial garden.
Color and texture all summer long was the goal.
Alas, I am blessed with shade.
Total shade.
Brutal trimmings of bordering hedges left me with a slice of afternoon sunshine.
I parked every plant in the book within that sliver’s path.
A few actually tried to bloom.
Clinging in defiance to the carefully composted rock bed.
However, it was not to be.
I am all about hostas now.
But last summer we had some volunteers.
A row of Milkweed plants
who found just what they needed at the edge of the bank
and flourished all summer long.
True to their calling the yard was full of Monarch butterflies
and I coveted the soon to be drying stalks for their dramatic silhouettes.
Waiting long past the browning of the rest of the yard,
I checked the progress every day planning to harvest at the optimum moment for painting.
Then I heard Pat calling me.
She was in the front yard shaking her head.
A pair of women, vipers it turns out, were strolling by and simply reached over the railing and snatched those milkweed stems right out of my garden.
A walkby yanking.
I was upset but learned a valuable lesson.
The seeds from those plants have produced five fold the number of Milkweed every year since.
And I can’t count the butterflies they have nourished.
And there is more than enough of both
to share.