I was walking in a garden one day
and a little girl turned to me
Eyes sparkling in beauty she said
Soft and delicate
“I want to be a butterfly one day”.
Straight out of a fairytale
Barely brushing a purple daffodil
Was a paper thin
vibrant blue butterfly.
Soaking in the summer sun
in toasting air
Enjoying the possibility of flight.
I looked at her
Eyes tracing curled golden pigtails
Floating tulle dress
A soft hope
of 4 cakes of birthday wishes
With all the grit I could muster,
“You better wish you’ll be a bat one day”
Her eyebrows brushed the sky.
“Grow thick leathery wings
That can’t be torn by a sandwich toothpick”
“And bare those nasty
Pointed yellow fangs
With all the pride in the world
For you’re going to have to dig them in one day.
File your claws to perfection!
Hang upside down from gnarled old trees
Shooken up and able to see clearly
Immersed in the wisdom of old and ugly.
Take flight at night
When no one else thinks to live
And take the whole world for yourself.
Wallow in the dark and dirty crevices
For they will teach you more
Than any pretty flower can.
Wear muddy gray skin with pride!
Rise under the camouflage
Until you are unstoppable.
Not in a million years
Will anyone see you
Bow down to those dainty, little butterflies.
For, you will be made of iron,
And ready to soar to the moon”
She looked at me
Quizzical and contemplating
Sizing up my leathery wings
And flew away.