Myrtle-Green Butterfly

One day, she realized that the

myrtle-green butterfly 

she was holding onto for dear life

belonged to the air.

She’d held onto it  

longer than was necessary.

Not wanting to hurt 

its myrtle wings

she had come to love,

not wanting to see it struggle

to break loose,

she set it free.

It was a butterfly unlike the 

counterparts of its species –

the dust of its wings never left

the ridges of her fingers. 

Thenceforth she sat

on the blue-gray cobblestones

flanked by withered patches 

of pink carnations

and strewn with dead leaves.

Dragonflies, aphids, grasshoppers

like mocking winged missiles 

would slowly approach and hastily retreat.

They’d whisper loudly,

Don’t get too close, it’s dangerous,

for the butterfly-catcher to hear.

Searching, sometimes for hours,

she watched slow-beating wings

draw from the bosoms of 

slow-dancing flowers,

but the pairs of wings she saw 

were either too gaudy as

a gypsy’s motley patch-dress,

or too unremarkably plain as

a scullery maid’s aged apron. 

At long last, one evening 

when the dusk was robbing 

the last colors of the day,

she spotted it – her myrtle-green butterfly –

hovering alone 

near the golden-hearted purple irises. 

With the caution of

a person crossing a field

sown with landmines,

the febrile franticness of

a lone soul crossing 

a fraying drawbridge,

she made her painstaking way thither. 

Like a sinner, going down 

on bended knees,

the butterfly-catcher whispered

her apology:

I’ve been waiting to see you

just to say

I’m sorry for catching you

the other day.

Though it wasn’t eternity,

I held onto you too long,

but then I let you go because 

it’s not where you belong. 

It made me so happy when I held you,

But happiness isn’t happiness

if the other’s not happy too. 

Myrtle-green butterfly, you were 

special to me,

but you were never mine for the keeping

so I set you free. 

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You Don’t Come with a ‘USE ME’ Sign

You oblige someone so many times that you’ve lost count, but one day, due to circumstances of your own that you choose not to disclose, you politely decline, and then, that person happens to forget the countless times you actually did oblige him all on account of the one time you didn’t.

That’s something most of us- if not all- can resonate with, right?

In life, we’re always caught up in that paradox between pleasing others and displeasing ourselves or pleasing ourselves and displeasing others.

Truth is it does sting when you are looked upon as someone who doesn’t wish to oblige or comply, but there are times when we simply can’t and we have to say no, regardless of the repercussions.

When people regard you as uncouth or disrespectful for declining a request after you obliged them myriad times, it is a lucid indicator that they were just basking in your glory and they feel griped when they can’t. They just saw you as an object that could carry out the desired task to the tee, not as a person who is equally subjected to stress of mind and body.

You are a human being, living to help, but not to be used, made to please others, but not to the extent of displeasing yourself. You aren’t a trash can with a ‘USE ME’ sign appended on your front, so make sure that peeps know that before they wiggle their organs of speech against you.