butterfly, a poem

what is a butterfly?
the thing itself,
and all that it symbolizes,
and its appearance in context:
spring to summer to fall.

dissected into its parts and pieces,
fragmentations—the once beautiful
becomes nullified and obscene,
the pastime of bullies and fools.

a Sylphina Angel on a pin
is good, at least, to study
structure, coloration, and form.
but it loses all of the grace
and much of the beauty
of a Swallowtail on the wing

where the structure is translated to movement
—scissoring, spinning, soaring—
and the color shifts in the light
and the shape adjusts
to circumstance:
the wind, a branch, your hand.

a butterfly is a poem.

first published Teach.Write.Journal Spring/Summer 2023

© 2024. Recorded 15 March 2024: Evening with a Poet event at The MacMillan Institute, Duncanville, Texas.

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