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Lullaby for the Black Butterflies

by Lisa Marie Brodsky

There are days when you call me
and marvel at the sunlight out your window.
You finally live in the country
and can feed the birds.

There are days when you sit out
in your garden and breathe in
the fresh air touched with the scent
of the vegetables growing in your garden.

But do not breathe too deeply, Mother.
There are black butterflies nesting inside
your left lung, the kind that stay, the kind
that kill. And I want you here to see

This has changed us. You want
to spend more time with me, singing
Les Miz; I want to go on a retreat
with you and I want

to hold you in my arms
and rock you the way
you always rocked me; I'll sing
all the lullabies I can possibly muster.

This has changed us the way butterflies
come out of cocoons; so have we come
out of our shyness of love for one another.
We are now open, wings spread

trying to change from black to a rainbow
of colors so we can sit together and look
outside at the luminous night without
feeling frightened of the dark.


Author's Note: first poem after I found out.

Posted on 01/18/2006
Copyright © 2022 Lisa Marie Brodsky

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/18/06 at 05:21 AM

This is very touching and heartfelt. The use of black butterflies is unique.

Posted by Eli Skipp on 01/18/06 at 02:26 PM

I honestly adored this poem, it was touching and personal. However, I think this stanza in particular is weak and could stand to be reworded: "But why do I say butterflies and not/ some annoying or horrible creature/ like moths or beetles?" Still, a lovely poem nontheless.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 01/18/06 at 07:27 PM

Touching in sentiment and brilliant in imagery. Excellent write.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 01/20/06 at 03:24 PM

Nicely expressed; the black butterflies an original, worthy analogy as well. The whole poem a good combination of light and dark.

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