The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
They split the cocoon
and severed the butterfly at my throat,
its beauty beating frantically against onslaughts of pain.
They tore it out slowly as it silently screamed.
I'd been told I was crazy
for submitting to the surgeon's careless scalpel.
I thought it would be crazier not to,
considering the only other alternative was death.
I was only 31 at the time,
positive I was not meant for such an inglorious ending,
sure that life would provide
many more butterflies to enchant me
with their whispered songs of survival.
Sometimes, I feel the ghostly fluttering near my heart -
the minute fragment of wing they left behind,
a reminder of the chrysalis I once knew
before the arrival of the scythe...