She perches on your shoulder
This invisible guardian of the night
Her voice a quiet word
Whispered in your ear
Barely heard above the din
The way text, lightly etched
On a slab of stone would look
In the shimmer of dusk.
A dream deferred cannot slip back
Into a sleepless mind.
Once a butterfly’s eyes
Have seen the light of freedom;
Once its kicks have set it free
From the caul of the caterpillar
It cannot become a larva again.
The prophecy is guidance promised;
That when, in the heat of the midday sun,
You beg a drink of clean water
From the store, you will return in peace
Because her word has gone before.