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A Butterfly and Stone for Amanda
We are a delightful blend of our parents. Mom, the flower gardener, Dad the veggie guy: me, I stake tomatoes with mullein, let pole beans share a string with Heavenly Blue morning glories. A childhood adventure, walking with my parents, beachcombing Michigan shorelines, now extends to my children.

And from this marvelous recombination and mixing of traits, I came out as a "bug" guy, and spent many summers chasing insects. Now, when we visit Michigan, we hit the beaches for unique Great Lake treasures. And we chase butterflies. My two youngest children and I engage in the national butterfly count on the Fourth of July. So I am proud my children are familiar with not only some unusual stones, but also some common, yet pretty and delicate butterflies. Where will their unique familial characters lead them and their children?

This poem celebrates some of the treasures in a small plastic 4-compartment box I gave to my daughter on her 16th birthday.

Gary Winans currently lives in Seattle working as a salmon genetics researcher. He spends his free time gardening, boardsailing, fishing, and swimming with his children. His new poetry chapbook "Across the Smooth Lens of the Lake" is available from Pudding House Press.

Copyright 1999 Manitou Publishing Co. & Gary Winans • All Rights Reserved.

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