Once You Touch A Butterfly

Once you touch a butterfly
it often, flustered, fails to flutter,
and cannot soar into the sky
without a sputter and may splutter,
because for butterflies the touch
of humans, friend or enemy,
can be calamitous, the clutch
of humankind’s hegemony.

When touching those whom we befriend,
no less than those whom we betroth,
we must take care lest we offend,
for, whether butterfly or moth,
the ones for whom we care may find
it hard to soar if we should brush
the dust, though trying to be kind,
from wings that, having touched, we crush.

8/3/00

by gershon hepner

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