Breaking the Butterfly

A poem I should have written a month ago. In memory of the Delhi rape victim.


1. Breaking the Butterfly


Beautiful butterfly.

Flitting from flower to flower with

A flick of her delicate wings.

Beautiful wings she had, that rivaled

The flowers she coaxed to sing.

They laughed in delight at the rainbows

She and her kin brought to being

But she and the other butterflies were

Also a treat for seeing.

They watched as the lovely butterflies

Spiraled into the sun.

Caught in beams they radiated

Joy and pure passion.

The butterfly, she lived her life

Making others happy.

But then one day, a villain came

And hissed at her great beauty.

With hypocritical morality

He lectured her into submission.

"Too beautiful for your own good,"

Said he. "You must be taught a lesson."

He picked her up and pinched her

About her slender waist.

He laughed as she fought and struggled.

"You're just about my taste."

She grew weaker as he squeezed her,

He jammed her to an empty page.

Brought down a pin, she twitched just once

And he broke her wings.

One to set the example, and

The villains came in droves,

Catching butterflies to crush and then

To pin in their notebooks.

Justification? That they were butterflies.

Reason enough, they said.

And those who loved the butterflies

Were as mute as if they were dead.

That spring there were no flowers.

The tears were thick but brief.

No wails of grief,

No cries nor weeps

Could bring back the butterflies.

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