I'm sorry, beautiful Monarch
(you're the biggest I've ever seen, by the way)
I didn't realize you'd sense
the milkweed plant ensconced in a mesh tent
I knew, as you landed atop the synthetic barrier
yellow flowers muted by the white below your feet
your abdomen curling, testing
that you really wanted to lay that egg
but you see, I already have several
of your kin to feed
and I'm afraid there's not enough to go around.
I missed the photo opportunity, standing at my kitchen counter and watching the enormous butterfly land on the pop up tent protecting several caterpillars from would-be predators. I am seriously concerned that they will eat through the milkweed before I can procure more; we've been on the hunt for plants for three days with no success at nurseries nearby. I may have to drive a bit to find more food for my voracious crawlers.