The waddling caterpillar
seems contented with his lot,
munching leaves and growing fat,
and avoiding hungry birds.
And then one day —
perhaps feeling a sudden chill,
he wraps himself in a shroud,
and falls into a deep and silent sleep.
Never again will we see
that one we knew so well;
the soft dark eyes and shuffling gait
forever absent from our garden.
Yet he is neither dead nor dreaming,
but present with us though unseen:
in a new shape, a new life —
transformed and renewed.
If you hadn’t seen it happen,
you’d never have guessed it —
and certainly not believed that it was true:
a miracle in your own backyard.
The pudgy green groundling
who once slouched through the grass
now flits among the scented blossoms
on velvet-covered wings.
With regal poise and elegance
he looks upon his kingdom
from his cushion of gladiolus petals
with clear-eyed confidence.
The whole world is his garden,
as beautiful as the first —
without the limitations
or deceptive, dangerous serpents.
Does he mourn what he once was —
Or what we have not yet become? —
this prince of the flowers,
so alive with freedom and delight.
He vanishes in an instant,
only to reappear
dallying among the daisies,
or sheltering in the apple tree.
One day he will leave again —
once more lost from our sight,
borne aloft on heaven-bound wings,
filled with sweet contentment.
Deborah Beach Giordano
© August 28, 2009