When I See You

December 9, 2009
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When I see you,
There is nothing but my aunt’s kitchen
When I was a child
Where stood a corner hutch
Upon which was displayed
A collection of butterflies
Lovingly placed by some
Well-meaning, wayward hand
Whose name I never knew.

When I see you,
And think of the way things used to be,
I am small again.
Standing on my toes
To peer at the butterflies
And wonder at days past
When they in bright splendor and with wings in sync
Flew freely and carelessly
Into uncertainty.

When I see you,
I know
That in the museum of my memory
You and I are there.
Our once bright wings
Faded, former symmetry
Forgotten, but still there
Sealed beneath glass
And labeled neatly
For any passerby to ignore.

When I see you
There is nothing but a vague memory
Of bright color and fluttering wings
Light and shadow
Familiar music punctuated by even more familiar silence
And the persistent image of my aunt’s kitchen
When I was a child.

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