Land of Paralysed Butterflies

By Ramona Wadi

crimson stains their mangled wings
drenched before reaching a spring
untarnished with rippling veins

it’s my fingers and other paper hands
that erase and replace letters on the map

as butterflies writhe in parched mouths on dying faces
a pair of scissors stabs our hands to brand us
traitors of diplomacy

we soothe our lacerations with glue

the empty squares parade before us
perverted precision brandishing tiny pencils
dangling on strings launching the limited dictionary
entitled responsibility

in the land of paralysed butterflies
some devote themselves to primary colours
and others to extracting their hues

when we turned the pages we beheld
a paralysed land smothered in red and grey
unravelling threads punctuated by missiles
dazzling spectators with hideous light
sanctioned by the throng lauding their right
to emblazon numbers in the squares.

(©Ramona Wadi)

– Ramona Wadi is a freelance writer living in Malta. She has been published in Green Left Weekly. She contributed this article to Contact her at:

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