Pulling Off Route 79 on a Summer Day
by Sharon Ball

Watching the white butterfly stop and sit
on a leafy green sunspot, then lift again
flickering on bright air,
propelled up, down, sideways across the road,
flying toward my open window.
Will it flap in or pass on through the trees to the river?

White butterfly floats
Aspens quake against blue sky
Sun-dappled woods keep secrets.

Through the trees, the river moves fast with yesterday’s rain.
I barely hear the water over the whoosh and hum
of coming cars and going trucks.
In between, leaves whisper of gifts as
the white butterfly melts into quiet woods.

Photo by Saturday Sun on Unsplash. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is the unexpected result of a solo drive through the countryside. At some point, I pulled off the road, rolled down all my car windows, and paid attention to the beauty around me. I tapped the poem into my cellphone and transcribed it later at home. Except for a new title and a few small edits, the poem appears as it came to me that day.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon Ball is a retired arts executive who is currently in school to finish her B.A. in creative writing/poetry. She has performed her poetry, essays, and original songs live in venues in Northeastern United States and on National Public Radio in Washington, DC, where she previously worked as an award-winning editor. Her poem “Raindrops Sparkling in the Spruce Tree When the Sun Comes Out” was published in the multicultural anthology Confluence, edited by Susan Deer Cloud. Sharon’s essay “Remembering Octavia” appeared in Anthropology Off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing, edited by Alisse Waterston and Maria D. Vesperi.

PHOTO: The author and her cat, Miss Kitty. Photo by JW Johnston.