Sleetmagazine.com

Volume 12 • Number 2 • Fall - Winter 2020

Genevieve Betts

Self-isolation

Self-isolating, I discover
veins of trails in my
neighborhood arroyos,

along one, a kaleidoscope of
chrysalis-cracked butterflies—
Mourning Cloaks.

People are staying inside
and the animals have noticed.

I think of humans too,
how they can deny
reason and science, cry hoax

while hospital workers
watch people they can’t save
die. My feet disturb the silence

and the Mourning Cloaks
heft their heavy capes—
black velvet with gold trim—

over their shoulders,
rise above the tree-lined trail
like a lifted funeral veil.

Genevieve Betts is the author of the poetry collection An Unwalled City (Prolific Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in Hotel Amerika, The Tishman Review, New Mexico Review, The Literary Review, and in other journals and anthologies. She teaches creative writing for Arcadia University's low-residency MFA program and lives in Santa Fe.