Treasure Island

John Rickell

(I November 1931 / York)

Butterfly trapped in a Norfolk church





Where were you last Christmas
hiding in the dust behind the altar
underneath an oaken pew
patched in darker brown, not oak
like the patch on a poor man's coat
Proudly wrought?
The peace of God around you
trapped in loving kindness,
fading altar flowers no food for you
anxious glances to the door,
the mesh obstructed door to keep out birds,
which kept you in, had I not come.
You let me take you from the sill
filled my hand with joy
bride-like walked with me along the aisle.
I threw you to the sun and wind
saw flowers tremble in delight
shake their anthers, petals open wide
‘Feed off me’ they cried.
Who needed who the most?
A winter fast complete....
cold sweet charity stayed your appetite
'til one fine day in May stirred your wings,
warmed your heart and set your tummy gurgling.
so glad I called......
I would not have prayed that day.
there were no candles in the church
but then I had no matches.
You were my pray.....
I wished you well and all your brood,
but never asked your name.

Submitted: Sunday, November 03, 2013
Edited: Sunday, November 03, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I was holidaying in May came upon this tiny church opened the mesh door (to keep out the birds) then the old oak door.Heard a disturbance near the east end finding a butterfly behind the altar; managed to catch and carry it to the outside. It made my day.

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