Monarch on Milkweed, photo ©Erika Burkhalter

Caterpillar Dreams

Do they dream,
wrapped in those silken shrouds,
like little pharaohs,
ready to be rebirthed?

What do they see?

Unlike the pharaohs,
they live again,
but in an entirely new form.

Devoid of the sharp stripes and inky spots,
which they knew as their own,
they will soon wear new patterns,
and be carried by wings
so gossamer and fine,
that they could only be crafted
by something divine.

Once they knew nothing but
the taste of milkweed,
and they dozed in the warm yellow rays of the sun.

But, the fun had just begun.

For they now take flight,
dancing in the light of creation,
and breathing in
the pulse
of time.

For, it is short.

But, if your moments here on earth were few,
wouldn’t you
want to hatch into a world
so vibrant and true
that you couldn’t help but don your finest dress

to waltz with nature…

…and then to sleep,

a deep
and dreamy sleep
of butterfly wings and gusts of breeze,
and the tickle of pollen on your toes.

Wouldn’t you want
to know
what that felt like?

Monarch on Butterfly Bush, photo ©Erika Burkhalter

For the monarchs…. To learn more about their habitats and about how to help them survive and thrive in this world, please see these tips from The National Wildlife Federation. And please spread the word — if we all planted a little milkweed in our yards, we could help this delicate, and yet tenacious, little butterfly species survive.

Poem and photos ©Erika Burkhalter. All rights reserved.