Poetry Friday: The Butterfly by Pavel Friedman

The reason I chose this poem is because this past Sunday, I went to the Holocaust Museum with my family.  My daughter loves butterflies, or as she calls them “boo-flies”, so I was immediately drawn to all the butterflies they had on display and for sale.  My daughter of course loved them all, too.  Then, in a small corner of the book case, I saw a little frame with this poem.  It touched me so much as I reflected on this young boy in a concentration camp.  I hope you enjoy the poem and may you also reflect on those who died.

The Butterfly / Pavel Friedman

The Butterfly / Pavel Friedman. Artwork: Liz Elsby

The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone. . . .

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ‘way up high.
It went away I’m sure because it wished to
kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here,
in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedman: Friedman was a young poet, who lived in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Little is know of the author, but he is presumed to have been 17 years old when he wrote “The Butterfly”. It was found amongst a hidden cache of children’s work recovered at the end of the Second World War. He was eventually deported to Auschwitz where he died on September 29, 1944.

**If you would like your poem to be featured on Poetry Friday, please send me an email at:  booksintheburbs(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Poetry Friday

Ode To Motherhood

they say the child chooses
the parent before
they are conceived
God gave me lists
of mother’s names
and pictures of them too.
I looked and looked
they all looked the same
and then I saw you.  Who is this woman?

I asked the Lord
She looks quite nice to me.
You have chosen well my child.
And he spoke these words to me.

She is kind and gentle
and very wise
and she will hold you
close to her
when you cry.

Her eyes will shine
when you take your first step
and smile at your delight.

She will show her pride
when you succeed
and pick you up
when you fail.

She will work hard
to give you the best she can
and rock you to sleep with weary time worn hands.

She will shelter you
on stormy days
and dry your fears away.
She will bask with you
in sunshine on
sunny summer days.

And when you are grown
like you soon will be
She will still be there
To comfort thee.

I choose her.
I told the Lord
For none like her
I’ve seen before.

And the day came
when I was born.
I had chosen well
of this I’m sure.

I picked you
above the rest
and because I did
My life is blessed

By Faith E. Pilato

Poetry Friday



Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Written by Emily Dickinson

Poetry Friday

My Family

Family is a shared embrace

Brings you comfort and builds your faith

It is when you can reach out and know you are not alone

It is when you know you are home.

Family is different colors and different sizes

They can sometimes be full of surprises

But, it only makes everyone much more special

When it is not what you think or who you are

Because you have a special place in their heart

And for that, you are a family.

Written by Lisa Salazar, 2011

For my family-my husband, children, and my family of choice.

Poetry Friday


Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy hands bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback
And lima beans.
Her jowls shiver in accusation
Of crimes clichéd by
Repetition. Her children, strangers
To childhood’s toys, play
Best the games of darkened doorways,
Rooftop tag, and know the slick feel of
Other people’s property.

Too fat to whore,
Too mad to work,
Searches her dreams for the
Lucky sign and walks bare-handed
Into a den of bereaucrats for
Her portion.
‘They don’t give me welfare.
I take it.’

By Maya Angelou

Poetry Friday

These Lost, These Come at a Cost Women

I see these city lights and flashy cars
These beautiful women lost under stars
These daughters and sisters and mothers
These lost women
These come at a cost women

Given a glance then a dance
Given the means to live by the fiends of these beautiful women
Lost in a daze of green
A daze I’ve seen

Spotlights on these beautiful women
Eyes on these and cheers for these beautiful women
Lies in these and fears in these lost women
These come at a cost women

Show, bought and ready to go
At a price higher than they know
These women worth more than gold
But still sold
Oh these lost women

Don’t you know your beautiful
Not hot women
That your beautiful
Not meant to be bought women
Beauty needs to be taught in these women
Instead of this that is not
Left in them to rot
Oh these beautiful women

These I’ve seen
Women whose pupils are all green
Men whose eyes are gazed in between wide thighs
Silent cries eventually taking its toll
Night after night eventually breaking the soul

I see these city lights and flashy cars
These beautiful women lost under stars
These daughters and sisters and mothers
These lost women
These come at a cost women

Don’t you know your beautiful
Not hot women
That you’re beautiful
Not meant to be bought women.

By Regan Mackenzie, 2008

Poetry Friday

The Road Not Taken

Written by: Robert Frost
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

A Poem to Reflect On….

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.