one afternoon
on a path that led
into thick bushes
I came upon him,
fully formed
and bright.

Wings tucked in
on the edge of a jagged leaf
he sat
contemplating perhaps
the great drop

I approached quietly
my viewing box
held it up to my eye.

He swam into detail
like a boat nearing the shore.

Off white wings
divided by
bright orange lines
flecked with silver.

Two thin tails
like the latitudes
pointed away
from his striped body.

Beneath the tails
two threads
that dropped away
like anchors.

He and I
there in the bushes
surrounded by bird call
and the distant beat of a fast flowing river
until suddenly the branch above me moved
and my shadow fell across him.

He rose in an instant
on those wings dipped in silver
and fluttered away
before I could take
another photograph,
before I could
introduce myself.