Green Hills Literary Lantern




He landed

in the storm

and spread

his moth wings

on the dark window.


His underbelly

was the size of

of my finger.

He pulsed green,

then blue,

then orange.


I put my hand

on the glass.

His wings trembled.

Then I tapped

on the pane.


“This is not

a source of light”

I whispered.

“This is just

a dark window.”


He was still there.

In the morning.

His wings

had withstood

the night,

his colors

finely dusted

by the winds.


“All right,” I said to him.

“This is not

just a dark window.

It is a source of light

I cannot see.”



Laurie Patton is Durden Professor of Religion at Duke University. Educated at Harvard and the University of Chicago, she has written or edited eight books on South Asian history, religion and culture in addition to translating the Bhagavad Gita for the Penguin Classics series. Her two books of poetry are Fire’s Goal: Poems from the Hindu Year (2003) and Angel’s Task: Poems in Biblical Time (2011).