By Hannah Chin
If you ever feel too scared to grow and move on, just imagine the butterfly’s transformation process. From beginning to end.
I fly, you fly Heads high up in the sky Waves crashing, people passing Warmth in the air, it’s the middle of July. Doves cry, children defy Some wander this Earth terrified but yet, Butterflies, fly. I sit down and take my time To figure out what this signifies Is it the beginning of a mountain? Or have we reached the rainbow’s end Is it just another day that I spend hours in my head, another day that I dread Or perhaps a new day in which I break bread, with someone who adores me or, maybe with someone who scorns me... Butterflies. Butterflies are creatures, soft and mild Very keen to settling on the tip of a child’s Nose, small and thin Their wings of colors, the very ones that flutter through the wind Light as a button and as fragile as glass But yet as much as I love to admire them, that? That has to happen from afar. I can’t let them get too close because for some reason just like life is Butterflies are pretty in thought and design But the reality of it is … they scare me. Now I know you probably wondering, “Did she just say she’s scared of butterflies?” Yes, I did. You see, life moves at a pace too quick for the eye Time waits for no man, woman, or child But growth on the other hand? It happens in one of two ways, only one of them depending on time. The life cycle is very straightforward you’re born, you grow, you die and you better bet butterflies have their eyes on that exact same prize This? This right here relies on time Then you have maturity, a version of growth I don’t like to think a butterfly sees. In my opinion there’s a difference between growth and maturity Cause sure, you grow up and your body starts to change, but tell me how much wisdom do you really allow yourself to gain? Think about those days where you would sit in class and wonder why that one kid could never behave or, why that one kid was always so brave. Perhaps you were one of those kids, and there’s a possibility you’ll relate to what I’m about to say. Sometimes, life forces you to grow up. It forces you to mature in the mind. Maybe you saw your pops get shot up or your brother locked up, or maybe like me, your moms had to pack up shop and go back to her rock. Just like butterflies, life hits you and passes by unless you decide to get up and not stand by, to not watch idly, as your life flashes by. I say butterflies scare me because you never know what to expect, with these two things change is always in the air But you have to decide when to let go of your fear You have to take hold of the reins and wise up in order to win the game Pretend it’s the Game of Life or Monopoly, just this time don’t submit to defeat. Unlike this creature with four wings, six legs, and a pair of antennae on its head, you have more than one purpose in life. Don’t allow a flutter in the scheme to mess with your dream.
As I was writing this piece, school had just opened and I was a bit anxious about starting my senior year of high school. Honestly, between college applications, online school and dealing with the new way of life during the pandemic, I was ready to be done with all of it! One day, as I was babysitting my nephew, I was reminiscing over how small he had been just a few months ago and how his features had changed so quickly—from here my inspiration took flight. I decided to use growth as a main idea of my new poem, but I wanted to connect it to something that seemed relatable. That’s when I realized I was looking at the answer the whole time, or rather it was looking at me. The week before, I had gotten butterflies painted on my nails to symbolize growth in this new academic year (and simply because they’re my favorite insect). I decided there and then that that was what my poem would be about, and about 10 rough drafts and four peer edits later, “Butterflies” was born.