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The Monarch

Contributed by Peg L. Goldman

butterfly deposits ovum onto the leaf
   instar larva leaves from the egg
at which it grows into a caterpillar
   on the leaf still
its skin striped yellow and black
   its head from the egg visible only at first
pigment of orange and black to come
   black tentacles
extending from the mature monarch body
   having emerged from the chrysalis.

butterflies pupate
   they shed their cover
they look different
   Can you monitor them?
How can they defend themselves?
   Can they cut it?
they consume their egg
   they stick to the Ascelpias' underleaf
Do they notch the leaf?
   they hang on by a thread

-- Peg L. Goldman, 2006

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