I wrote this poem years ago for a friend, pregnant, who learned she was carrying a son.
Today, I’d like to dedicate it to the parents who lost their baby boys to a senseless act of violence at Pulse in Orlando. And I’d like to go further and also dedicate it to every parent who has lost their precious child in such an unspeakable way: while at school, in a movie theatre, living in or visiting Paris and Brussels, travelling on airplanes, fighting in uniform overseas, and in so many other equally tragic events too numerous to list here.
My heart breaks for you. I really can’t begin to imagine.
You’re a butterfly, my baby boy,
The way you dance inside of me.
Soon you’ll emerge from your cocoon,
to be loved by us unconditionally.
Can you feel the joyful longing
that awaits you on that day?
I will count your toes and fingers
and rejoice that all is okay.
I’ll cradle you so gently
in the circle of my arms.
You’ll feel my fervent promise
to protect you from all harm.
I’ll bandage knees when they’ve been skinned,
and wipe away your tears,
Teach you about rights and wrongs,
and help to ease your fears.
No matter what your mischief,
when I look into your eyes,
Love will blossom in my heart,
and turn my scolds to sighs.
As time whittles the years away,
I’ll need to set you free,
and have faith that I have raised you
to be the best that you can be.
With tears of pride and adoration,
I’ll then uncap my jar,
to free my precious butterfly—
proud of the fine young man you are.