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Drying Its Wings

06 June 2009


All the dreams of caterpillars
Seem impractical.
Foolish hairy creeps.
Inconsiderate visionaries
Painting airy portraits
For themselves, invisible
To the hive. “Why so shy?
Look to the flowers, grumpy!
Have some nectar, honey!
Show some self-respect,
Insect!” Shamed to see
All the winged productivity,
As if the burden of beauty
Were too great, the beast
Takes its own bait
And slinks away to think awhile
about its purpose, and to die.

Now, blind to what’s transpired,
And suspicious of a sudden quiet,
It dries its wings in the sun,
And gazes out upon the flowers,
Which bow in its direction.
The butterfly hears a far
Vibration, and wonders
Why, and where the bees did fly.

On every worm, that plows the waste
Of better beasts, the life of trees
Depend. In every creepy caterpillar,
Dreams of beauty brew
Invisible, but not unknowable,
Nor untrue.