A Tattered Beauty

By Karen Petersen


Pale coral dots stitch the edges

of dark purple wings outstretched

in a glory of blue iridescence.


You rest on the leaf casually

drinking in the flower’s nectar

displaying your tattered beauty.


Your lithe, little purple body

is hidden in the camouflage,

vulnerable, and delicious.


A sharp-eyed passing bird

circles eagerly, ready to strike,

but you flutter away, intact.




Karen Petersen has traveled the world extensively, publishing both nationally and internationally in a variety of publications. Most recently, she was published in The Manzano Mountain Review and Pilgrimage Magazine in the USA, Antiphon in the UK, Wild Words in Germany and A New Ulster in Northern Ireland. In 2015, she read "In Memory of W.B. Yeats" at the Yeats Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the KGB Bar in NYC. Her poems have been translated into Persian and Spanish. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics from Vassar College and an M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.