May 9, 2016

The Impatience of being a Caterpillar. {Poem}


“Some days aren’t yours at all, they come and go as if they’re someone else’s days.” ~ Regina Spektor

Today I am the brimming river, the first rain after a long drought
on the Halsted bus this morning, reading Pablo Neruda—I cry
—joy and nostalgia stream down my face—
“I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains. bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses,” Pablo croons.
and my river heart overflows.

Yesterday I am the tired sigh of the sea;
I get home from work and tuck myself into bed tight by 8
and watch it downpour for hours outside my window and inside my head​
—my best friend comes home and towel-dries me to sleep—
and in the morning I shake the excess water out of my ears.

Tuesday I am warm and rich. I am honeycomb.
My love, you are magnificent, splendid, inspirational.
—compliments and sweet nothings ooze from my sticky lips—
I coat your throat in sweetness
but I ask that you not get stuck to me,
these holes in me are not meant to be filled.

Monday I am a child at the beach for the first time.
It’s hailing! Oh, glorious hail!
I run outside, barefoot in the rain, collecting big & small translucent gems,
I am scolded for eating some off the ground
—oh, but I’ve never tasted hail before!—
it tastes like salt water and dreams on my tongue
I keep a few pieces in my freezer to bring out on days I feel old.

Some days I am a cactus in a desert,
others a bubbling stream
I do everything with the intensity of a wildfire.
And by night I have been known to howl at the moon.

But most days I am a caterpillar.
Inching ever so slowly–too slowly–in the direction of my dreams

but I’m an impatient little bug
and I’m tired of being ugly

​I just want to scream,
–“when will I be beautiful?”
but caterpillars do not become butterflies by yelling
so I keep on inching.

And instead I ask the flower, for she too, blossoms:
—”but how will I know when I am a butterfly? Caterpillars don’t have mirrors.”—

The flower looks at me and exhales slowly, fragrantly,

“The gigantic Willow tree does not become that way knowing he is a tree while still a seedling
he knows only growth.
Ever changing, while still remaining the same; he doesn’t dwell on end results,
​he is content to grow and not know in which direction he is growing.
The seedling , the sprout, and mature tree are not the goal, but the process
—the journey—
just as the seed to the flower.
The caterpillar to the butterfly.

My dear, what I am trying to tell you, is that beauty is in the eye of the grower.”

I think about this for a minute,
inch my way slowly over to the flower,
wrap her in my arms in gratitude,
open my wings
and fly

Author: Lea Pintozzi

Editor: Sarah Kolkka

Image: Mike Baird/Flickr

Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Lea Pintozzi