To Butterflies

image: Pixabay

My brother’s death-day is today, so the Independence Day holiday is always a little skewed for our family. After he was killed, I started seeing Monarch butterflies everywhere. This poem is for him.

 

To Butterflies

The harsh rend of my regrets

torn into paper shards

flutter into your scooped out hole

where heated scents of pine linger

on the cusp of summer’s silhouette

edging the cemetery’s newest stone.

 

I lay beneath the blue blossoms

white roots dangling like lace

over your tattered wishes.

I would bury my yearning

in the dark and fecund loam

soak it with my tears.

 

Death holds us lightly

life persisting with unfettered intensity

in spite of mourning

your Forget Me Nots flourish

blue petals transformed though we both will stray

to butterflies

take wing and soar.

**

I wish all my American friends a wonderful July 4th celebration. Wherever you are in the world, enjoy your families and friends and hold them tight. ❤

Obelisk – #Writephoto

The horror on my mother’s face earned her a compromise, and I hauled my keepsakes into her attic. The rest I sold or trashed—all my belongings, from my gabled home and rusted car to my laptop and half-squeezed tube of toothpaste. Then I emptied my bank account and donated every red cent to the cause. I wouldn’t need it where I headed, and it would help spread the word of salvation among those left behind.

We gathered by the obelisk, thousands of us, believers young and old, some in homemade robes but most in jeans and rolled up sleeves. Anticipation crackled in the air and prickled the nerves. The sun dipped toward the burnished sea and the sky turned to brass. The moment was nigh.

Some fidgeted and grasped at fleeting minutes with fretful yearning. Others reconsidered the wisdom of their choices, whimpered their regrets, and lobbed breathless pleas to the ether with white-knuckled fingers, but not I. My veins pulsed with intrepid hope, dreams of pristine worlds, a homecoming with my ancestors, a vibrant vision of a future among the stars.

The sea shaved slices from the sun and the horizon deepened to green. The moment passed and our ship never came. I watched faith peel from the devout like onion skin, tearful and pungent, the betrayal palatable and mutating faces with grief, anger, and despair. A few backpedaled with delicate reasoning; others scratched for ways to undo what they’d done. Most vowed vengeance. The buses had departed hours ago, and as twilight faded, the horde of disillusioned started the long walk to town.

My back to the obelisk, I waited as night drew up its coverlet, not the only one to remain on the rocky point but one of few. The sea lapped on the shore to the rhythm of my breath, and the stars winked on. The prophet had promised us a life of spirit and relieved us of our worldly possessions for the start of our journey. There never was a ship, intergalactic or otherwise; I knew that now. But he hadn’t betrayed me. He’d done as he promised—freed me of the heavy trappings that weighted my life, and set me on an altered path. I faced a new future. Like it or not, I was reborn.

**

Thanks to Sue Vincent for her Thursday #Writephoto prompt. Visit her site to see other creative entries.