Posts Tagged ‘butterfly’

Still Learning

Tonight when I see a photo
of myself from almost thirty years ago,
I stare at the woman in white lace
the way a butterfly might stare
at that strange nibbling larva—
curious. It doesn’t occur to me
to tell her about what will happen.
I flit by as she stays on the wall.
She’ll learn soon enough. I breathe
into my wings. She’ll learn.

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Into this poem

I tucked a thousand

butterflies so when

you read it, they

flutter out—bright winged

and brilliant, each

a reminder of the

thousand gifts

you’ve given—

and also, though

it’s not easy to hide it

inside Times New Roman,

there’s a big brown bull,

stubborn and formidable.

He doesn’t care

about all those pretty bugs,

he just wants to get across

the message,

What you do matters.

If you doubt it,

just look at those nostrils,

just look at those horns.



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It Used to Rule Me

that old story—
I laugh now through the darkest part
and the weight breaks
into a thousand thousand

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Finn comes in, hands cupped
and asks me for a jar. What for?
I ask, and he lets me peek between

his palms to see the butterfly.
He is all aglow with the catching of it,
and I do not try to hide my regret.

Let it go, I say, it will be so much happier, love.
No, he shouts, and looks about
for a jar since I won’t help him out.

Please Finn, I say, let it go,
but he is intent on keeping
what is beautiful. He pokes holes

in the lid so the admiral can breathe,
gives it a yellow salsify and insists
that it’s sipping nectar. The butterfly,

all violent wing, flaps a long time before
settling beside the pretty weed.
Finn stares in the jar at his butterfly.

It is pure, his admiration for the
loveliness he sees, so pure that I squeeze him
tight, too tight perhaps, my arms

around the place he would have wings.

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Pin Up Haiku

yellow butterfly
so beautiful, wings spread
so dead

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long after it leaves
my arm, I still feel its footprints
the butterfly

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