On the bench I sit, in the middle of the park,
frozen in time, while the world bustles around me.
I watch life happen, but don’t dare take part
for I know what many others can’t see.
I spy a young girl, no older than seven or eight,
bouncing toward her weary mother.
She squeals, “good things come to those who wait!”
I see the butterfly perched on her outstretched finger.
As the girl nears the woman sitting beside me,
The butterfly’s damaged wings capture my attention.
“She won’t fly. Doesn’t she realize there’s a world to see?”
Her brow now furrowed, she poses the question.
The mother sets an open magazine upon her lap,
“The butterfly must feel at home on the finger of my sweet girl,”
“Perhaps she’s tired, so she’s decided to take a little nap?”
The response, obvious shelter from the ways of the world.
I avert my gaze, should it betray knowledge of the disappointing truth,
I’m not a butterfly expert, but I know exactly why they stay:
It matters not whether they rest or move,
Death befalls them either way.
Here’s where I share inspiration for my poetry. This will be short! The thought occurred to me that sometimes no matter what I do, the outcome is the same, so why bother. (I know, that is isn’t very hopeful of me.) Then, I decided I wanted to write a story poem with that theme. The butterfly was simply the captured creature of opportunity, as I had a photo that I’d taken a couple years ago during a visit to Shenandoah.