the world is cruel to the caterpillar,

as it grows up on the ground.

it is cruel even as it cocoons, 

as it grows and lives and eats 

because it is not yet winged and colorful.

people shriek at such a sight, the caterpillar,

and yet they ogle over a monarch.

and so i hold each caterpillar on my finger,

and tell it, “i am sorry the world is cruel.

you are just as beautiful now 

as you will be in the future.”

i wonder if a butterfly remembers 

the scorn of being a caterpillar 

i wonder if they treat caterpillars a little nicer

in their meaningless bug world.

i watch the butterflies migrate away

i am sad they are leaving,

but happy they are moving on.


Photo Credit: Terminix