Then in the kitchen one July afternoon
you come floating in bringing with you a host
of the old superstitions. Beautiful, double clothed,
red-gold in flight, a tigerish zigzag
of cream and brown stripes when at rest,
you alight on our cupboard. Totem. Amulet.
As exotic in your own way
as the olm, the tetra, the aye-aye
with that tendency to meddle in the dark arts,
and your leaning towards outlandish talents—
hissing at bats to befuddle them,
even spraying them with your venom!
On our terrace you have left
the 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?