The Backward Butterfly
The rainbow wings descend, backwards,
Down from a world of freedom and ambition
Into a tight space, where
It stays for many days.
Eventually it crawls back out
A simple black caterpillar
Splattered with yellow paint
Big and fat it crawls, backwards, over some half-destroyed leaves.
With a few magic words they are repaired.
But as the leaves are returned to how they once were
The caterpillar wastes away
getting thinner and thinner.
Until it retreats, inside a tiny, cracked egg
it closes up around itself and, eventually,
all that is left is a small white ball, lying in the moonlight,
on a big green leaf.
Sarah Watts, aged 12, receives 'The Poetry Book' edited by Fiona Waters (Orion). Submitted by Mrs M Shaw of Stowmarket Middle School, Suffolk, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. Please send poems to 'The TES', Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Ann Sansom is writing tutor at Doncaster Women's Centre and is a part-time lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. Her collections include 'Romance' (Bloodaxe)