The Butterfly

May 28, 2009
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My butterfly is gorgeous
As she bats her long wings
With the strength of a lion.

Yes, this butterfly is beautiful
Like the setting sun
Sparkling over the twilight sea.

This butterfly knows adventure
And loves excitement
In all her daily life.

This is my butterfly.

She is always at my side
Telling me where to go
And what to do.

This butterfly guides me
On wrong and right
And things in this world.

She never leaves my side
To be with anyone else.
Not this butterfly.

This is my butterfly.

And so we journey
Along a path of stone
We venture out of our town.

She has led me away from what I know.
Away from evils in this world.
She leads me away.

She tells me, “You will do bigger things!
You will do better things!”
And I listen, and I believe.

This is my butterfly.

How we got to this grave road
I do not know.
It seems a far off time in a distant place.

In the thick of night she led me out.
Out of my town.
Out of my world.

I do not know how I am missed.
Or if I am missed at all.
I hope I am.

This is my butterfly.

“You cannot look back!” she says to me.
And so I must obey.
I do not think about that old town of mine.

And so we journey far, far away.
To where, I cannot say.
But I know I am headed to a better, greater place.

My feet are pained by these stones in my path.
These obstacles blocking the way
To this place I am headed.

This is my butterfly.

We reach a bridge
Going over a river.
Do we cross it?

My butterfly nods her head.
And over we go.
Crossing over the river.

And as we cross this bridge
My thoughts melt away
And I have not a care in the world.

This is my butterfly.

If I were thinking any thoughts while we crossed this bridge
I would be thinking how I cannot see
The end or the beginning.

I would’ve asked my butterfly,
“What bridge is this?”
And she would’ve answered me.

She would’ve told me.
She would’ve told me what this intriguing,
Fantastical bridge is.

This is my butterfly.

But I wasn’t thinking while crossing that bridge.
I wasn’t thinking,
“What bridge is this?”

Instead I walked on, carrying no thoughts.
For there is no greater burden
Than many thoughts running through your head.

No, thoughts are for people troubled enough to think.
And crossing this bridge,
I was not troubled.

This is my butterfly.

My foot touches something, not like the wood of the bridge.
I look down and,
We have reached land.

I can never say for sure how long it took to cross that bridge
With my butterfly right on my shoulder.
It seemed not very long.

But then, I wasn’t thinking.
So I can never know
How long it took to cross that bridge.

This is my butterfly.

This land my foot has touched,
It is like no land I have ever touched.
Like no land at all.

It is not like the bridge
Or the stony path
Or my village, far far away.

This land is a miracle land
I can feel it in my bones
This is like no land I have trodden upon.

This is my butterfly.

And as I step across this miraculous land
We reach a fence.
An ordinary, wooden fence.

And a little man pops his head over the fence.
And he asks,
“Where to, ma’am?”

This strange little man
With a beard dark as night
Asks me where I am headed to.

This is my butterfly.

I look at my butterfly, expecting her to answer.
But he stays silent.
Silent like a rock or a stone.

I am expecting her to answer for me.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
I can see the little man growing impatient.

The man’s smile turns a bit lopsided
More into a frown.
“You do not know where you are going.” Says he.

This is my butterfly.

And as he utters that last single phrase
He disappears away beyond the fence.
And I am alone with my butterfly.

My butterfly that led me away, away
But will not help me
In my time of need.

My butterfly that told me to leave my village.
To follow this ugly stone path.
To cross this bridge.

This is my butterfly.

My butterfly has failed me.
And I ask her, quivering with anger,
“Why have you not helped me?”

She says,
“Go this way.”
And points me in another direction.

I stop, staring down this new path
Which does not look too favorable.
I don’t want to take this path.

This is my butterfly.

She tells me,
“Come on, take this path!
Do it just for me!

“Take this path, please take it!
I’ve told you the direction
I’ll point you in the right way!”

And I look at my butterfly.
I look into her eyes
And I trust this butterfly.

This is my butterfly.

So we follow this path
For about a mile or so
And we reach another fence.

I ask my butterfly,
“What do I say to this next man?”
And she says there will be no man.

But when we go up to the fence, there is a man.
And he asks,
“Where to, ma’am?”

This is my butterfly.

I look at my butterfly.
Has she lied to me?
Or did she not know about this man.

And as I look at my butterfly,
She gets off my shoulder
And flies away.

And I am alone with this man
Who says to me,
“You do not know where you are going.”

This is my butterfly.

I look back at my butterfly
Who has flown away.
And I notice the change.

She is no longer a brilliant, beautiful butterfly,
But a dull, awful butterfly
Who does not look familiar.

Her gorgeous colors
And intricate patterns
Have been replaced with brown.

This is my butterfly.

And this time
I think about what this little man has said
About not knowing where I’m going.

At least I know where I’m coming from.
I do know where I’m coming from?

I feel lost now
Without my butterfly
Telling me where to go.

This is my butterfly.

I sit down
And hold my legs
And fall asleep.

Sleep feels good
I haven’t slept for a while
Not for days or weeks or months.

Sleep is wonderful.
I dream.
I dream about home.

This is my butterfly.

But I am woken.
Oh, how unfortunate.
I am woken with a shake.

A little man has come up to me
Holding a jar in his hand.
He says, “Is this yours?”

And he holds up his jar,
With my butterfly inside,
Fluttering about wildly.

This is my butterfly.

I look at the man.
And the butterfly
Who has deserted me many a time.

I think about where my butterfly has taken me
And where else she wants me to go
And what she wants me to do.

And I look at the little man.
I look him right in the eyes.
And I say,

This is not my butterfly.

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