Poetry: “Gypsy Moths, or Beloved”

Fall is the season of nostalgia and memory. The sound of leaves skittering over the sidewalk, the sharp, sweet smell of fallen apples, insects singing at a trembling peak—a poignancy wells up through it all, in the face of the shortening days. In this spirit, we bring you Paula Bohince’s poem “Gypsy Moths,” from the September/October 2008 issue of Orion, an end-of-summer love song to the oft-maligned gypsy moth. —Hannah Fries, Poetry Editor

Gypsy Moths, or Beloved

tremor in the walnut grove,
stand of near emptiness where I once stood,
demolished, hooked
unto a sorrow as the moths
belong now to these branches, the smoke
and burn of twilight,

the dreamers aroused,
unbound from their nest, wings unfurling walnut
tree-patterns, adult colors—
bronze and gray of decay, although
they are newly born.

This is the why and the way
of how I love them: savoring the end-
of-summer’s diminishing hours, unafraid
of the coming dark, enthralled by the applause
of bodies caught like hatchets
in the bark.

~Paula Bohince

Read more poetry published in Orion, here.


  1. In this instance, i was more touched by the introduction then the poetry! the intro reminded me of my fall wedding. As you said, “Fall is the season of nostalgia and memory”. ditto! 🙂

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