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May 16, 2014

Butterflies: A Poem. ~ Samantha Starkey

Butterfly Shadows

We teach little girls to be butterflies

Be strong but be quiet,

be soft, be beautiful

Impeccable,

Finger painted portraits of nothing but butterflies

She is surrounded by the aesthetic images of the perfect life

of everything she can be

everything she needs to be

For Life beyond the cocoon is hapless for a butterfly like you

They will hold scissors to your wings

Filter your nectar

Put you up against bees

Stingers, discomfit you,

make you all the same

Blind to their own mendacious irony

You won’t feel the same

Pressed to feel ignoble,

Not even your brightest colors can make you worthy

For this is a hive and you are a butterfly

Capable of anything and everything of a bee

But never quite enough to feel the same sun upon your face

or the same wind beneath your wings

You can work and you can try

You’ll paint your wings in pinstripes black and yellow

Tape push pins beneath your thorax screaming unabated

“I can fly! Daddy I can fly! Watch me fly just like you!”

But you’ll tire of the black and you’ll tire of the yellow

Retreating to velds all too familiar and damp

You’ll feel at home beneath the omnipresent chill of the morning dew

Mother tugging at coiled antennae

Morning dew dripping from tired eye

She’ll galvanize you to let it fall

Let it fall until you grow blind

Blind to all thoughts of a tantamount tomorrow

For outside of a distant cocoon

Butterflies are sweet

Sweet as the honeycomb upon which they thrive

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Apprentice Editor: Brenna Fischer / Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: 416style/Flickr Creative Commons

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Samantha Starkey