The Butterfly

The Butterfly

You are sitting in a big saggy armchair

In a so-called ‘living’ room.

With beige non-descript walls,

Full of empty picture frames.

Everything feels dull and grey and silent.

It’s so quiet, you think you’ve gone deaf

But then you hear your own blood

Rushing through your veins.

And hear the sound of your own breathing

In and out, in and out.


A weak sunlight insinuates itself

Like an oil slick through the grimy, dust-encrusted widow.

Its path impaired slightly by the saggy yellowing lace curtains

That give the light a mottled washed out look.

It meanders across the wooden slatted floor,

Kicking the dust bunnies out of the way

Illuminating a space in front of where you are sitting.

Your chair is positioned just short of the light.

Wishing for its warmth,

You scrape your armchair across the oak floor

Not caring about the damage it may create –

Towards the pool of sunlight.

Your feet and legs quickly soak in the heat of the Sun’s rays

And you feel warmth return to your lower limbs

And the tips of your fingers.

The afternoon solar warmth kneads in to your cold knuckles and shin bones

You find yourself drifting off to sleep,

Cosy in the bosom of the chair and the soothing fingers of Helios

Suddenly, you find yourself on a Dandelion-covered path

Winding its way through the Autumnal forest

You can smell the slightly sweet organic decay of fallen leaves

Mingled with the smell of pine needles

There’s the sharpness of ice crystals in the air.

Dead leaves are strewn along the forest floor

The slight wind, making them talk –

‘Sussurrar’, they whisper dryly.

They cover the ground between the trees

But strangely – none on the path itself

The ‘coo’ of a Wood pigeon and the grating ‘caw’ of a Crow

Permeates through the still air

But the sound is slightly muffled by the vegetation

As you stand there, suddenly acutely aware of your surroundings

You feel a slight fluttering near your left ear

You subconsciously think it’s a fly –

And bat it away

Then – out of the corner of your eye

You see that it’s a brilliant cobalt-blue butterfly!

It hovers to your left for a moment

As if waiting for your attention

Then flits away along the path in front of you.

You follow, curiosity awakened

You walk along, following the path of the butterfly

Senses heightened by the strange surroundings

Wanting not to lose this blue Lepidoptera

You quicken your pace.

The butterfly lures you to a small clearing

In the middle of an overgrown copse

Raspberry and blackberry vines

Wrap around a small cottage

You have just become aware of

A one-story grey stone dwelling

With a grass roof sloping nearly to the ground

The butterfly skips past you and lands

To rest on the window ledge

You take the unspoken hint

And knock on the weather-beaten wooden door

You hear movement inside

Your mind thinks up terrible visions

A deranged crone? A toothless hermit?

No – for some reason

You know you are safe

The door opens, you step back in surprise

You can’t believe it

It’s her – how can it be her?

You haven’t even admitted to yourself

Until now – that she is HER.

She’s wrapped in a large multi-coloured shawl

The earthly smell of a peat fire wafts passed her and over you

She welcomes you in with a smile

The main room is a hotchpotch of

Farm house and old art room

She offers you a cup of pungent herbal tea

And guides you to a blanket strewn armchair

Next to the blazing peat fire

You talk for what seems like hours

She smells of roses and honeysuckle

It feels so natural that at first you don’t even notice

Just as you feel yourself drifting off

She kisses you gently on the mouth.

You awake, startled – finding yourself

Back in your lifeless living room

The room now sunless and drab

You sigh, then notice a faint smell of roses and honeysuckle

Despite the greyness, you feel a warm glow

And smile contentedly to yourself

You snuggle back into the embrace of the armchair

And drift back off to sleep

Chasing the dream of love in a little cottage.

Chasing a butterfly – home

© Kate McClelland 2015

2 thoughts on “The Butterfly

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