Parveen Shakir

(24 November 1952 - 26 December 1994 / Karachi / Pakistan)

I'M Happy To Remain A Butterfly - Poem by Parveen Shakir

Midnight of my passing years . . . .
Did someone knock on the mute shutters
or was I scared in a dream?

What house of love is this?
Such frightening rocks litter its base,
its windowpanes already chatter.
Perhaps the dread lies inside me
more than anywhere out there.
My dread of his handsome looks,
my awe of his mind,
my fear of a dance of wild abandon
before his pursuing eyes . . . .
Mere covers.

I don't wish to say: "There he is."
Why should I lose what years have
my life of freedom, my free mind?
I know if I ever fell into his hands
he'd swiftly turn me into a housefly.
Confined to the walls of his desires,
I'd forget I had ever known
the joys of light, breeze and perfume.

Yes, I'm happy to remain a butterfly:
though life's needs conspire against me
at least my wings are still intact.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012

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