Butterflies by Ciaran Parkes


On a brochure for child abuse victims
there’s a pattern of white butterflies against
a blue background. They can’t fly,

of course, being only made of paper
and words. Inside, there’s a list
of helpful services. I imagine

a caterpillar somehow condemned
to crawl his whole life, never taking flight,
the transforming magic never happening

for him, or happening too soon
so it doesn’t turn out right. I’m sure
in nature such phenomena occur.

by Ciaran Parkes

Editor’s Note: The central allegory of this poem hits like a punch—this much truth all at once can be brutal.


2 responses to “Butterflies by Ciaran Parkes”

  1. Joyce Myerson Avatar
    Joyce Myerson

    Certainly Ciaran Parkes is one of your most creative and intense contributors.

  2. Dave Williams Avatar

    Very creative central metaphor, punctuated nicely with inventive line breaks which seem to emphasize the idea of coming up short.

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