Nancy Eimers

Woodland Camo, or “‘What Kind of Bullsh*t Is This!?’:
Retired General Who Led Katrina Response GOES OFF
on Trump's Militarized Portland Crackdown”

                                        —July 22, 2020, Mediaite

If there's a reason for blue-white moons on the velvet
black of the blue moon butterfly, or if there's no reason
for reason is not exactly the word for how a species survives,

if its flight through deciduous trees and the greener places
has a wayward, leaf-life quality, could this be
anything we with or without intention were ever trying for?

Sometimes the wings are tattered near the moons
which suggests a bird had aimed for what it thought
was an eye. The female butterfly is the color of mocha

and has no moons; that makes her less visible
among the trees as she guards the leaf on whose underside
she deposited eggs a "pale, glassy green" and so more nearly

invisible. In only ten generations the male blue moons
acquired a "suppressor" gene that resisted a microbial parasite.
This happened, a scientist said, in a relative "blink of an eye."

Is each generation a leaf falling out of a tree once the version
of that particular leaf is complete? When patterns of natural camouflage
are meant to conceal, an owl can hide in a tree

and a rabbit hunker down in a pile of brush and thus be nothing
as a way to be safe, but these men and women wearing sand
and brown and green and beige in an urban terrain

are dressed for visibility, not the stealth of trees.



Nancy Eimers is the author of four poetry collections: Oz, (Carnegie Mellon, 2011), A Grammar to Waking (Carnegie Mellon, 2006), No Moon (Purdue Univ. Press, 1997) and Destroying Angel (Wesleyan Univ. Press , 1991). Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Field, Gettysburg Review, Seattle Review, Paris Review, The Nation, Antioch Review, North American Review, Triquarterly, and Poetry Northwest, the 2011 Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of Small PressesPoets of the New Century, The Wesleyan Tradition, Writing Poems and Best American Poetry 1996. She has been the recipient of a Nation “Discovery” Award, a Whiting Writers Award, and two NEA Fellowships.