Goldenrod Gall Fly

From: Zen and the Art of Eco-Poetry

“Goldenrod Gall Fly”

(Eurosta Solidaginis)

Standing stoic in winter’s chill,
the stem of last year’s goldenrod –
leafless, hollow,
no longer flaunting its vivid yellow flare,
but scarred and swollen
with evidence of redemption:

Some months ago, a gall fly –
suddenly clenching an unfamiliar sense of fulfillment –
rested her pivotal moment
on not just a ripening wildflower,
but the birth-table
on which her child was born.

With her creation
preciously wrapped and tucked away
in green swaddling leaves,
her birth-pains overpowered by the joy
of somehow,
in some mystic primordial way,
innately understanding what is primary, what is pure:

how to passionately love
that which must be left

not unwanted,
but never to be seen again –

how to fathom a fraction of her soul
soon transcending the childish larva,
the adolescent pupa,
ultimately replacing the life
which, suddenly, need not continue.

Credit: First appeared in Blueline 38: 69.