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By Mandy Barncord Doerr

Young vulnerable little caterpillar-child
Taking lessons from my silkworm elders
Spinning a cocoon of denial to live in a world I could not affect

Foolish little caterpillar-child
Despising my covering even as I created it
Retreating to the edge of the mulberry bush to hide my rebellion

The dawn of youth
How quickly it passes
How high the price I paid
The other caterpillars were so happy with their cocoons
Why did I hate the one I made?

But still I spun
For it was my duty to make more silk
To cloth the greedy and the hauty
The spiteful and those with delusions of grandeur
Was it not my proper place to be boiled to death
So my denial could conceal the bareness of truth?

Why did I shrink back from the steam of death?
Why did I struggle to leave my cocoon?
Could I not see the nobleness of my blind sacrifice?

Now I am stuck between lies and truth
Is it any wonder that the other silkworms shun me?

Some of them agreed with me
Until they saw the pain of the struggle
Can I blame them for retreating
When I can barely stand the agony?
Can I blame them for wrapping themselves within more denial
When the truth rakes my own soul?
Can I blame them for their blindness
When I wish I could not see where I failed?

I have come out too far
The strands are broken
My silk is ruined
I have expanded
To go back would accomplish nothing

Poor little caterpillar-child
Looking monstrous in your half-emerged state
Shaking with the pain of the growth others had the sense to shun

Sad little caterpillar-child
Will you stay a scrunched up insect
Or will you stretch your wings and fly?


Copyright © 1999 Amanda Diane Barncord Doerr