Whether if my promise be known or not,
Of which I spoke when lying on this spot,
The weeds have covered up my trail;
Their stalks show not the seat that I once made,
But mounds still show the meadows where they fade,
And here I sat: it is no tale.

Those rituals that men must daily guide
Amongst the grass where earthly spirits hide
Came to me in late September.
Assured of myself, I spoke, spoke alive
The thought so often heard but to contrive
What feeling does not remember.

With sunlight pleased there was a butterfly
Upon a leaf, perceived with patient eye,
Which lulled upon itself a while.
The fragile wing of ephemeral life
Untamed my spirit, yet to know my strife,
To roam amongst myself and smile.

But if fear, my sense knows not to dispel,
Could chance extend as deep as thoughts compel,
And truth never be as fleeting?
I raised myself; day was getting colder,
And walked back home, but did not feel bolder,
And weaker felt the next evening.

Many weeks passed, passed with my intention,
Nor felt one time again that decision
That in that meadow lays confined.
Yet that spot forever remains a mark
As songs forever of the meadowlark
Will tell which bush he hides behind.

For here there hides the song that I once sang,
The notes are left as flower petals hang,
Lifeless, as beauty to the eye;
Drop they will, perhaps, on a better day
To excuse those words and content to say:
Death comes not to the butterfly.


Douglas Thornton is a poet and English teacher living in France.

Featured Image: “Sunset on the Meadow”  by William Trost Richards

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One Response

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