Then in the kitchen one July afternoon
come floating in bringing with you a host
of the old superstitions. Beautiful, double clothed,
in flight, a tigerish zigzag
of cream and brown stripes when at rest,
alight on our cupboard. Totem. Amulet.
As exotic in your own way
the olm, the tetra, the aye-aye
with that tendency to meddle in the dark arts,
your leaning towards outlandish talents—
hissing at bats to befuddle them,
spraying them with your venom!
On our terrace you have left
nicotiana and foxgloves moth-sucked
and weeping, have lapped up their poisons
for your own toxic armoury.
Brave little juju. You make me feel lucky.
I know I must address you quickly
before I get caught up in that old dilemma:
am I a woman dreaming of a moth, or rather…
So here you have my question, mythmaker:
Have you any news of my father?