Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I can explain to you why the Moon has phases.
I can show you in the lab how temperature affects the solubility of a substance.
I can demonstrate why air is considered matter.
But when you ask me,
"Miss K, why do you have all these butterflies around your room?"

I am stopped in my tracks.

Like a clogged drain.
All the words get stuck in my throat
And my brain spins around
off-balance and awkwardly empty.

All I can manage to say
Is something cliche and pre-packaged
About how butterflies first begin their lives
As squishy, wandering caterpillars.
And that likewise, we all go through
To become more capable,
More beautiful
Versions of ourselves.

Except I don't even say it as eloquently as that.
Because I fear your eleven-year-old minds
Won't understand what it means to have
Another version of who you are today.

There is a part of me that wants to say instead,
"Ask me in ten years."

It would be like asking a caterpillar
Why he couldn't stop staring at the butterflies
Above him in the air.
"I don't quite know," he would say.
"But something about them just feels so familiar."

1 comment:

  1. Leah, that is beautiful. And I think we can all relate to the caterpillar at times. In fact, maybe throughout our entire lives. Some days, I feel like I have everything figured out and I am so sure and confident in myself and the world around me...and then there are others days where I could not feel more lost but I know I need a change so I crawl in my cocoon and transform once again into that beautiful confident butterfly. Thanks for posting this. My mind has been wandering on a similar subject and it was nice to read it in your words.