From the West I fly over fields and islands of ice,
Always a life contained in a suitcase.
So here, aptly stuffed under my seat with a flotation device
Are the fragile remnants of my birthplace.
In between the folds of my carry-on are packed
Breakables and valuables inherited from my father
And towards the East my flight is tracked,
While I am a cracked vessel that only pride can fother.
There is a genealogy, a family tree, and ancient photos,
And a coral necklace for me that he did buy
When I was a little girl, that he kept wrapped in a sheet of my prose.
With some of with my old drawings. And that did make me cry.
Apparently he was always proud of his daughter.
But I always lived too far away. So he put aside for my child,
He did not ever get the chance to know. So I cross the water,
And keep my head held high, and cast grief aside, still unreconciled.
For his youngest granddaughter he leaves an onyx butterfly
A pretty little useless ornament, among so many other pretty useful things:
But for all the things he'll never get to say to her, he wanted her to have the sky
And he wanted to speak to her of wings.
"A girl is like a butterfly," I hear him now, his voice is still in mind
"She should be careful never to caught up fast in the hand of any boy
And she should feel free to leave them all behind
And follow the wild winds, to the heights that bring her joy.
Until the day she finds at last the hand of him, that will let her be, well, alone.
Then she should not be afraid to rest, and enjoy the peace that brings...
Finding the one who appreciates her for what she is, and all the places that she's flown...
That will never try to rip from her, her wings."
Then, of course, he'd add, "Of course, being who you are, your own,
...Because no daughter of mine ever had wings delicate as tissue!
Your wings are likely made of steel, and hard as stone.
I wanted to you to know I've always taken pride in this, before I said adieu."