Redemption for a Black Swallowtail

“Hope is the thing with feathers.”
                              Emily Dickinson

This isn’t a butterfly’s exodus tale.
It’s more of a genesis tale about
a caterpillar fat with weeks of greed
who bowed to the need to be redeemed
and bent in prayer and fastened his head
with sticky white silk onto my tree.

With two more threads he suspended himself
as if in a cradle, and started to swoon
and the tree swayed to celebrate as the
caterpillar turned into a womb.

All of this upside down on a tree
and inside out, for his better self
to swim in the infinite stream of life
and emerge soaked in its mystery.

And I, a bystander, witness to proof
that I nearly swept away with my broom—
of life redeemed by wholesale belief
and infinite hope—
not for feathers, but wings.





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