For Jenna, who’s shared so much of her inspiring, beautiful and very personal poetry, and who keeps reminding me of this poem. I wrote it in my teens for my other half in a long-distance romance that was already over with and I just didn’t know it. For years, this poem meant the ultimate embarrassment to me, like showing up with a bottle of wine in a skimpy teddy, nylons and your tallest pumps, only to find he’s not alone, and then looking down and realizing you have a run. Jenna showed me that it’s the feelings I had then that make the poem what it should be, and not how I feel now.
Gentle and delicate, simple and free,
Butterflies symbolize love.
They represent harmony, freedom and peace
and the beauty of Heaven above.
The smallest, most fragile and by far the weakest
of all God’s most beautiful art,
the butterfly lifts with the greatest of ease
the heaviest weight from your heart.
I wish I could fly like the butterfly
or mail myself in a crate.
I’d be with you there with the flit of a wing
but I can’t so you’ll just have to wait.
If all I can send to you now is a butterfly,
remember that one thing’s still true:
This butterfly’s fluttered from West coast to East coast
to carry my heart’s love to you.
© 2011 Anne Schilde
So yeah, today I would write “One of the smallest, most fragile, and weakest…” I’d fix the stupid crate thing (darn runs), and I’d change the end to something more like “from my heart to your heart to carry my love to you.” But that’s the way I sent it. What can I say? I had butterflies in my stomach.