Fragile

I took my two year old son out for a walk this morning,
and in the grass of our front yard
I saw a broken butterfly wing;
I picked it up without thinking
(or malice)
while my child pointed elsewhere, exclaiming
“Butterfly!  Look! Hurt Butterfly!”
I gently stroked the wing in my hand:
Orange, and black and yellow,
soft and velvet,
almost not there
save for the realness of its broken gone-ness.

We walked around the yard,
and I noticed all the fragile little things
littered in the browning grass:
A humming bird nest
Rose petals
A spider web
The shell from a bird’s egg
The white crown of a dandelion,

ready, waiting, calling to be blown
dispersed and carried on the light breeze
like the soul of a flower
to be shared and grown again;

We walked;
the whole while, my son singing
in that lisp-y, high pitched slur
that toddlers do,
“Ashes! Ashes!
All Fall down!”

After a while I carried him;
I crushed him close to me,
smelled his breath
felt his heartbeat,
the curl of his fingers
and the softness of his skin;

All the fragile things
Precious and rare,
Like the wings of a butterfly

 


 

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9 thoughts on “Fragile

  1. Pingback: Policemen, let names be names | The Monster in Your Closet

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