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The Butterfly

The man lay very sick in bed.

I knew the end was near.

“Don’t be sad,” he said to me.

“I really have no fear.”

This man I nursed so tenderly,

And grew to love so much,

I’ll miss his calm integrity,

His firm, but gentle  touch.

“If it’s Heaven I am slated for

“And not a fiery Hell,

“I’d like to arrive as a butterfly

“And leave this useless shell.”

“I’d spread my wings of red and gold,

“With generous spots of white.

“There is nothing lovelier in this world

“Than a butterfly taking flight.

“I will not say good-by to you.

“We may meet again some day.”

He closed his eyes, and then he left,

Good in life, brave in death.

Winter turned to Spring. I now lunch in the park.

I watched the lovers cling and all the children lark.

Suddenly! a brilliant butterfly landed on my hand.

It rested on my fingers, even when I had to stand.

The butterfly still stayed with me as I left the green.

And at that very moment, the world smelled sweet and clean.

I imagined that the creature had come to me to say,

“I’m happy, you be happy too,” and then it flew away.

I smiled and looked up at the sky.

My heart no longer  gray.

Heaven must be like a butterfly.

I’ve believed it since that day.

Joyce Spier

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