It was an accident,
shunned from mulberry leaf,
diverted to shallow bowl of jasmine bud
and boiled water.
Her long slender finger, ringed in jewels,
scooped puffed cocoon catching a thin thread,
it was an accident.

She pulled and pulled and thread endured
long and strong until only a naked
form remained afloat among leaves
released of their essence, a body
no longer moth bound,
enchantment broken.
It was all by accident.

Did you know silk worms don’t fly
once transformed from cocoon to fragile moth.
Oh, they flutter their wings,
provoked to fly, yet flutter is all they endure.

What life – one disposed for cloth of silk,
a lustrous thread woven round a
fine line of leisure.

Or life devoted to suppressed wings
that scutter endlessly on mulberry leaves
only to dream of butterfly’s flight.

Little silver worm, how do you choose?




Author’s Note:

This evening our wonderful writing group met. We just don’t do this enough!

We all had the same words to use in our writing, but each of us had a different opening line. As is our custom, our prompts are only a suggestion. I didn’t use the opening line I drew: The first time I ever saw that man I wanted nothing more than to punch him square in the face.

Our words to incorporate were – provoke, shun, fragile, endure, suppress, shallow, enchant, divert (and I chose not to use cappuccino or ridicule).

Also influencing my writing are the little silk worms that we are growing in our classroom. They begin as eggs no larger than the head of a pin. Then hatch into teeny, tiny black worms that are hardly visible. They grow into slivery worms that eventually turn into larvae and cocoon. They emerge as beautiful with moths that don’t fly and begin the cycle again.

I feel guilty growing our little livings things that are not native to Colorado. Silk worms are not native. They feed on mulberry leaves, ravenously. We don’t have mulberry trees in Colorado. It’s much too cold. But the science company sends a green powder that I add water to and microwave it to boiling. It smells like alfalfa. The kids think it stinks. But those little worms eat and over several months we watch an amazing transformation.

In the end, we cannot, of course, release the moths as we do the butterflies, mealworm beetles, and milkweed bugs. They are not native. So there is someone in our school district who receives these fluttery little beings and does what they do with them, whatever that is, in their basement.

Hence the darkness of this poem…