Amidst borders, butterflies still dance and fly



barbed-wire journeys


2-legged made borders

and dare we say,

try and fly?

Not all make it,

mothers devastated,

fathers weeping,

entire winged families caged apart.

Some monarchs

fear the latest new catcher in chief,

whose followers demand

bigger, stronger, electric-style nets

seeking to punish those who dare fly

in their illegally-occupied garden,

and yet,

others have seen this before.

Many aspiring butterflies

are forced to attend concrete jungles

180 days per year,

for their own good,

rerouting their sacred purpose,

where metamorphosis will never be taught

due to budget cuts, and such and such,

These potentially winged creatures,

are described

by the free and reduced flowers, they eat,

and many,

get labeled the difficult ones,

or flight tactic learners

who come from

the other side of the forest


learned and enacted

butterfly on butterfly crime

is now the norm,

In this boarding zoo

being orderly is rewarded and punished

with butterfly of the month trinkets given

and outdoor activities taken

in this obedience dance

where no excuses

or daydreams are allowed.

Novice conservationists

migrate on 2-year stints

to concrete jungles all over

called to save these “poor winged creatures

from their own demise.

No one blames

concrete jungles,

the fear tactics of catchers,

or conservationists,

for the countless butterflies,

that eventually “chose” not to fly.

Some eagle elders

point to toxic air,

toxic water

and black snakes underground,

where lungs struggle to expand,

and still,

undocumented butterflies

attempt to fly.

Shattered and war torn,

at times, unaware

of who she is

where she comes from

but carrying ancestral DNA

as reminder

“we’ve been here before,”

and we shall return again.

Her official history

as she’s been told

began in a cage

and it is there that she’ll die

so how might a butterfly still dance and fly?

The unofficial history,

passed on by owl griots,

speaks of healing and hope,

monarchies and civilization

where the butterflies reigned supreme.

In that underground history,

the dwelling place of memory,

is the self-confidence

to once again fly.

These butterfly squadrons,

organized and persistent,

seem to give little to no weight

to 20-foot borders

as if 21-foot ladders are part of their metamorphosis,

their coming of age,

their destiny

no matter what odds.

These winged creatures still re-member

7 generations


when borders didn’t cross them

and so they fly

no green card

no apology and no fear,

on may-day and all days

migrating over fear,

slavery and misinformation,

finding their way home.

That memory,

of monarchies and sacred purpose,

is why butterflies don’t just fly,

they audaciously dance,

to repair and return to the forest,

they will once again call home.

We are destined to fly home.

. . .

Dr. César A. Cruz