Metamorphosis

What happens to the forming butterfly
stuck fast inside its cage of flesh and bone
when the long months and years go slowly by,
and unlike its siblings, who have all grown

wings and completely left those old cocoons
behind, instead is forced to fit beneath
a cracked, damaged shell that was cast too soon?
Does the crippled one live with disbelief,

or instead create a magical world
where other small creatures may find some joy?
Do its fellow flower-birds know this one,

if it becomes an adult, will surely
die? It must always stay a freakish boy,
or its suffocating mask will have won.

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