“The Yellow Caterpillars”

The yellow caterpillars walk
east
while I walk north.
I step over at least
one
every day.
I watch for them;
my head slung down.
I see the mutilated remains
of those who crossed paths
with a less caring creature
than myself.

People like to be happy,
keep their heads up,
stay distracted by anything
but the solitary inward glance
that is always present,
but rarely dared to be entered.
"Look," they say.
"Look at the beautiful butterfly."
Nevermind that it's landed
on a dried turd.

I like to look down
at the split bodies,
guts spilling
from furry torsos.
"Look," I say.
"Look at what might have been."
And I begin to wonder.
That's what is beautiful to me.
Not what is,
not what was,
but what might have been.

History is an assemblage of the dead;
a catalog of what might have been.
The present choice is to know
if your head is going to hang low
anyway,
it might as well do some good
for somebody
or something.

narrative poem written on 05-17-2016 by: on mattkane.com
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