This giant atlas moth’s broad wings
could be the map of China.
Here are two Great Walls. And there
on the Manchurian tip of each forewing
are dragon heads to scare off predators.
But what are those windows in the map,
where crystal scales let in the light?
As if earth’s skin has windows
and at certain times of the evening
they open. The newly emerged atlas
perches on my hand, and it trembles –
like a new world, warming up for its first flight.
by Pascale Petit
from The Treekeeper’s Tale
publisher: Seren, Bridgend, © 2008