Vinson O. Williams, Raleigh, NC
I tiptoe through the branches,
Summertime, and munch on the leaves.
Developing from my fragile form,
I eat, and grow, and shed.
Eat, eat, eat;
My stripes become more defined
And I am no longer confused with others.
Of yellow, white, and black, they thicken
As my awkward antennae sprout
I am finding my way.
I use my silk more, intently but tenderly grasping,
Gaining stability in this quick world.
I can feel my green pap grow,
This skin strangles my maturation,
It holds me back.
Molt, Molt, Molt;
My layers fall away, friable,
More defined than the last.
I see it coming: my formative brown branch.
Fast approaching, I must shed my last,
And be encased in my hard shell,
And change one final time.
I am joining the Kaleidoscope
My orange aerial brethren and begin.
I am still and vulnerable, insect in vitro,
Wait for me,
And we can paint the blue together.
I am so close, insect in vitro.
I am almost ready, insect in glass.
The curious child waltzes over;
What is this?
They pluck my chrysalis,
Not yet black and orange, but green and opaque.
I am not safe.
My life is fragile, it always has been;
It never was in my hands;
Water, wind, birds, predators
The tumult of the nature outside
My umbilical is severed
Uninterested, I descend from the careless palm.
The others grow, while I do not.
I lay on the damp ground, stunted.
Black and orange they emerge.
My glass is cracked, Kaleidoscope, I am trying.
Please wait for me?