Trapped Moth

Moth in amber

Today’s lesson:

a moth fluttering inside the milky back-up light

of the car stopped in front of mine.

Its motion catches my eye:

the wings flap valiantly,

then stop.

And again, flap and stop.

Never mind how it got there,

attracted no doubt by the beckoning light.

It will never leave alive.

A miracle of organic order,

trapped forever inside a round plastic prism.

It will end as dust,

severed from the mysterious cycle of life.


I am that moth,

stuck in the modern world of cars and taillights.

Seized by the same primitive impulse

to be one with the flame.

Now using the same conserving strategy:

flap, then rest.

Flap, rest.

Yet I still believe I can escape the prison of plastic perfection,

when I am meant to leave my own humble smudge of dust behind.



  1. […] inside the clear plastic bubble of a taillight on the car in front of me. That image invited me to delve deeper through language, and I was rewarded with a surprising insight into how I am living in this […]

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