Poem: The Exquisite Butterfly

Butterfly, butterfly,

Pleasing to the soul,

As much as to the eye.

 

The butterfly descends in swirls,

Like a wounded paratrooper in the sky,

Half-conscious with a shattered collarbone,

Life slowly evaporating through the bullet wound,

Without the strength to control his chute.

 

The butterfly alights, bending a small leaf,

 Like a benign gesture recalling a suppressed horror,

To the mind of a former Gulag camp prisoner,

Paralysed with anguish,

No one realises he may break at any moment.

 

Butterfly’s orange shade striped with black,

Like a tiger whose unchanging beauty,

Blinds zoo patrons to the broken, shriveled soul within,

Nevermore to see her native jungle,

Freedom is an illusion haunting her dreams.

 

Butterfly with wings hemmed in white spots,

Like an infected crustacean or mouldy bread,

Both abandoned and unloved,

Left with only torments of impending death,

And a burial that no one shall mourn.

 

Butterfly, butterfly,

Pleasing to the soul,

As much as to the eye.

 

© 2018 MILES VENISON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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