The Chrysalis

March 9, 2017

The Chrysalis
(For Kate, who gave me the right word, but also for Bailey)

Dear Bailey,
I thought of you the other day
Out of the blue of the aquarium
In the bright green colors of the butterfly garden
I wandered along, as I am prone to do
In a haze, picking my way through a cloud of flower petals
Until I came to a display detailing the lifecycle of butterflies and moths
And behind the glass rested a myriad of examples
The butterflies and moths trapped forever in each stage of life
From a tiny egg to a great colorful beast
With perfect, symmetrical wings and otherworldly grace
But in between the two, there is the chrysalis
All of the hope for the butterfly rides on it
Trapped inside is all of the potential the butterfly would or would not fulfill
And right there, that is where you snuck your way into my mind
Oh, Bailey! What good friends we could have been
My big brother, someone to watch over me
But now I stand vigil over you
You are forever in the chrysalis
Limitless, all of the potential and hope in the world was poured into you
But I do not mourn for you
For I never knew you from anything more than photographs
And you did not live long enough to know yourself
It is not my intention to worry you now
Because I’d still like to think
That somewhere down the rabbit hole
Is a place where that potential was not poured despairingly into the ground
You could be anyone 
You could be everyone
And so I stood there for some time
Staring at the neat rows chrysalises
And the most illustrious of them all caught my eye
It hurt me that such beauty could be wasted
Entombed forever in unlife beneath the glass
I then promised myself that I would not waste such beauty
That I would one day make a necklace from such a chrysalis
Preserved in glass and hung from my neck
It would serve two purposes
First as a tribute to the person you could have been
Your very own cameo in a story into which you were never fully written
But the second part is for me
A concrete representative of lost potential
And a permanent reminder
Of things that no matter how beautiful
Could never be

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