John F. McCullagh
Butterfly - Poem by John F. McCullagh
A caterpillar had the feeling
That change was coming
That time was stealing.
To embrace the metamorphosis
It wove a cocoon around its chest
And choose our wall to take its rest.
The young are thoughtless, often cruel
And I was no exception.
I would have destroyed it but
for Frankie’s intervention.
Frankie lived in the corner house
He was older and quite wise.
He taught me that this green cocoon
would change into a butterfly.
He bade me watch, he had me wait
to see the wonder taking shape.
We saw the Monarch first take wing
once caterpillar, now a King.
Several summers passed us by.
I still lived but Frankie died-
He was just eighteen, Young and brave
A landmine put him in his grave.
He died just before Saigon’s fall
His name’s inscribed upon the Wall
Corporal Frank Evangelista Junior,
beloved by mother and mourned by sister.
A terrible loss when Frankie died-
He might have been a butterfly.
(The incident with the Butterfly happened in 1960. Lance Corporal Frank Paul Evangelista jr.USMC died during the Vietnam war when a landmine blew up his jeep. I recall he died in March of 1969, but I altered the time lines slightly(using my poetic license) .. Had he emerged from the experience of war, he may have proved to be a great man.)
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