The Butterfly Project


United States
39° 11' 51.3852" N, 87° 22' 16.1328" W

The butterfly rests upon my wrist,
Its wings emblazoned with swirling colors of a Cassia tree
That fade to blue at the edges of its wings,
And accented with a symmetric and swirling pattern
Of faint black lines and speckled dots that remind me
Of the Milky Way on a clear summer night.

It stares at me with eyes too wise and knowing
To belong to an insect.
In those endless black orbs,
I see life with all its good intentions.
I see a second chance at a life I thought lost.

I see a mother who guides
Her child onto a safe path,
Brothers and sisters who always
Have each other’s backs – regardless
Of how much they think they hate each other,
The kind stranger who brought me a steaming
Mug of hot chocolate as I worked outside in the freezing snow,
And the paramedics who rescued me and the firefighters who raised me.
I see my best friend and all of our mischievous adventures -
All of our conversations lasting ‘til sunrise –
And all the times we spent being each other’s therapist.
I see my lover and the countless times he filled my stomach with butterflies.
And made me melt into a pile of goo –
Stutter and lose my train of thought -
Grin from ear to ear -
And build me up when my walls came crashing down.

I see those moments I spent
With all those who are dear to my heart.

The butterfly looks at me,
With the ghost of a smile on its face,
And flutters away to rest on another
Lost soul’s wrist to give her a second chance.


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