By Brian Rihlmann

 

on the forest floor
there was movement
and when i crouched
to get a closer look
i could see it was a butterfly
struggling to break free
bright yellow and glowing
like a tiny squirming sun
inside the dark shell
of his cocoon
he was halfway out
but seemed stuck
so i pried gently
with my fingertips
until he burst forth
only half formed
with a single brilliant wing
lopsided and flopping in circles
drunkenly on the ground
he would never fly
i couldn’t leave him
i awakened with a start
to the crunch
of his tiny exoskeleton
under my boot
feeling sick and hollow
from the dream
light filtered in
through the blinds
i’d slept later than usual
i got dressed
stepped outside
and slowly
raised my eyes to the sky
as though expecting
something to fall
Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. He has been published in Constellate Magazine, Poppy Road Review, and has an upcoming piece in The American Journal Of Poetry.

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