One summer I’d a plague of them –

they looked so pretty in their red and black

I didn’t mind them fluttering round

but then I’d find one on my pillow

or leaving smears across the panes.

The boldest liked to totter on my finger

then take me under her wing –

it was lined with finest satin

which she unfolded like a sheet.

For months she hung around the window

till a gust or rumour took her off.

I remember the smooth curve of her back

and how she’d tumble from the bed

to fetch up madly wriggling on the floor

helpless as an overturned coracle.