Butter, Flutter, Gutter
poem by Jenifer Tull-Gauger
A flash – yellow as butter,
The butterfly flips its wings
And takes on the air with a flutter.
Swoosh – suddenly a car sweeps by
And smacks into the butterfly.
It’s now a sallow speck in the gutter.
The above poem was inspired when I noticed a small, yellow, dead butterfly in the gutter by a busy street. I imagined that it had gracefully flitted about as butterflies do, then got hit by a car. That was the true inspiration for this poem. When I decided to share it, I wondered if I should put a disclaimer first, about it not having a happy ending.
But then I remembered one of our young karate students sharing the Buggy hand trick with me. Such a memorable little ditty, “This is Buggy. Buggy says, ‘Hi.’ This is Buggy when a car goes by.” Here’s a girl showing the trick on video. (You can’t fully appreciate it without the live action.) Kids, at least when it comes to bugs such as Buggy and butterflies, seem to acknowledge and accept death and even make jokes about it. If you want an alternative, this poem of mine has a happier ending.