If a Butterflies Wings were Flags

Your wings are like

tiny flags

flags of color

too delicate for war

but the only kind of flags

that let their bearer fly.

 

But now your days of flight

and delicate landings on soft flowers

are over.

You should have

six legs

but you only have four

you don’t struggle

when I lift you gently from my sandy shoe

and

 

cradling you from the ocean wind

go to sit on the balcony

looking out at the wind blown grass.

 

You are dying

I know that

But there is no hatred in me

to kill you.

You seem peaceful

and lacking a voice

other than the whisper of your wings

and the multifaceted gems of your eyes

shining green and emerald

through the peach fuzz

on your alien face,

I can hear no pain from you.

No signal of distress other than

dying.

A soft falling through the air.

 

You hold onto my hands

with gentle strength

hooking the first thinnest layer of my skin

with the tiny latches on your feet.

My flesh is thinner even,

than your wings

the only flags too delicate

to be waved in war

still they are strong enough

to fall through wind

flutter up

to fall

to dance in a spiraling eddy

softly

like a dried leaf controlling its flight

 

now you have the grace to let yourself fall

to keep falling

soft

delicate

beautiful

falling gently

like a leaf in autumn

like death

 

you are dying and I know you can’t understand

but I fell the need to fill your falling

with some breath of my own—

I promised to write a poem

about you

butterfly.

Little dying gem eyed flag

falling

holding to my hand

 

And I did.

I did.

Good bye

butterfly.

Keep on falling softly

delicately

beautifully

you are more lovely

than all the torn flags of war

that fell before you

you were not built of a symbol

but mean something in yourself

even if I had not found you

your fall would still be

beautiful.

Honor me,

and let this poem

fall with you for a while.

 

I hope only that one day

I will have the grace

to die as beautifully

and you did.

The End

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