Worth The Weight
I cocoon myself
from memory’s chill
layer upon layer around
heart and bones; flesh upon flesh,
a rounded shell that grows until
the softest, most tender parts inside
become hidden from view of
the prurient, the aggressive, the wounding . . .
the world beyond this wall I build.
I am an agoraphobic butterfly,
afraid that, if I let the world see me in all my
some will stare until I squirm,
while others—like him—will touch
me, will try to pin me
down so I have no
ability to fly; that’s why
I choose to keep this cocoon:
it’s heavy, but
it’s worth the weight.
Margaret Adams Birth is the author of Borderlands (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her poetry has appeared in more than 50 journals including Plainsongs, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Aldebaran, BlazeVOX, White Wall Review (Canada), Blue Lake Review, and Awakened Voices. She has published short stories and novellas (some of them written under the pen names Maggie Adams and Rhett Shepard), short nonfiction, and even a few comic books, as well. She has lived in many places, but now makes New York City home. She has an author page at https://www.facebook.com/MaggieAdamsRhettShepard.