01 October 2012


(from the play and film, Monsieur Lazhar) ~

by Bachir Lazhar

There is nothing to say about an unjust death.
Nothing at all.  As we will now show.

From the branch of an olive tree there hung
a tiny chrysalis the color of emerald.
Tomorrow she'd be a pretty butterfly
freed from her cocoon.
The tree was happy to see his chrysalis grown,
but secretly, he wanted her to stay a few more years.
"As long as she remembers me."

He had shielded her from the wind.
He had saved her from ants.
But tomorrow she would leave
to alone face predators and bad weather.

That night, a fire ravaged the forest
and the chrysalis never became a butterfly.
At dawn, the ashes cold, the tree still stood.
But his heart was charred,
scarred by the flames, scarred by grief.

Ever since, when a bird alights on the olive tree,
the tree tells it about the chrysalis
that never woke up.
He imagines her, wings spread,
flitting across a clear blue sky,
drunk on nectar and freedom,
the discreet witness to our love stories.

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