I said to my old friend with the fancy new suit,
“Well, don’t you look sharp now! And so cute!
New wings festooned like blueberry fruit
Antennae accessorizing that ensemble, to boot.
So why the long face? What’s with the snoot?”
“Admit it now, say it’s true,
Now that you have the broader view:
Life is better, since you flew?
You smile more, and giggle, too.
Those wings! So new! So blue! So you!”
“If you’ll pardon me, please; I must pry,
I cannot help but wonder why
You weep and you do not fly?
What is here that makes you cry?
Wouldn’t you be happier up in the sky?
“Your life’s not here down on the ground!
Your wings, worthless, dragging around
Behind you like an abandoned hound.
Why, Butterfly? Why not make that sound
Of fluttering, flapping — lose the frown!”
But my friend ignored my pleas to smile and take flight
And trundled along, wings and all; what a sight!
I watched her wander, slowly, left and right;
As if her wings cloaked a darkness blocking all light
A broken heart perhaps? This kid was not alright.
I decided then to act, to stop this morose tour.
“Why, Butterfly? Why? Why don’t you soar?
Tell me what saddens you to your core?”
My friend spoke, not a whisper, but a roar:
“Because I am what I am, a caterpillar no more.”
“My family won’t accept me, saying ‘Those wings must be fake!’
And, ‘You’re not one of us! You’re a freak! A fruitcake!'”
“No, Butterfly. No,” I consoled her. “They made a mistake.”
She sighed, wishing they could be happy for her own sake.
“If only they would accept me. Perhaps my life I should take…”
“NO, Butterfly! No!” I pleaded. “That won’t make it better.
The only thing death does is make you deader.
Your problems aren’t fixed, they multiply together
And anyone who rejects you won’t become a regretter.
‘A permanent solution to a temporary problem,’ says this letter.”
“What letter?” asked the Butterfly, sad as can be.
“The one a friend shared when I changed into ME.
And now it is yours.” “Who, me?” said she.
“Yes, Butterfly! Yes! I transitioned, too, you see.
I survived thanks to friends. They’re my chosen family.”
The Butterfly absorbed all this new info fast
Picked up her wings and in a blue blast
Flew over for a hug, not her first, not her last.
She mourned and accepted what’s past is past
And took flight to explore her new world, so vast.
Fly, Butterfly! Fly!
If you or someone you know is thinking about or threatening suicide, don’t hesitate to use one of these great resources!
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: