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)