John F. McCullagh

Gold Star - 5,019 Points (09/28/1954 / Flushing)

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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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 5, 2010

Poem Edited: Sunday, December 5, 2010


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