The Very Tired Butterfly

Illustration: 7MB
Every colour on a butterfly's wing tells a story - even in death.

I saw you lying face up
When I went to the terrace this morning
You were in a corner
With your feet up
In a position of surrender
A position that showed no fear
A position that you, maybe, took when you finally went to rest

I kneeled down and peered closer
Your face looked peaceful
And I could almost see a smile
That’s how one looks in death, I suppose

I turned you over
You were so beautiful
Like a tiger
Orange, black and a bit of white

What did you eat for that orange to glow?
Clementines aren’t so bright.
What made the black look blacker than pitch?
Blueberries aren’t so dark.
And that pure white, where did it come from?
Did you eat fresh snowflakes when you last played?

What all did it take for you to become a tiger, Oh butterfly
And was it too much that you couldn’t hold on for just one more day?


Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do mail us at


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