Bye Bye Butterflies // A Poem

There are two ways 

in which butterflies fly.

All at once. Or a bit every day. 

The thing with butterflies flying all at once 

is that they leave an imprint 

on a part of you,

in some way or shape or form, 


It does this because they're around one day.

In sneaky glances, sparks and smiles. 

In late nights and adventures. Hopes
of a happily ever after. Promises of forever.
Yes. The butterflies are there, present and whole, 
breathing life into all that surrounds you.
And the next they aren't. But all that you felt for them, 
doesn't just disappear the day after they go. 
It stays bottled. 
Stored. Stationary. Stagnant. 
Your feelings don't have the outlet to leave. 
So what you felt, 
is somehow ironically preserved 
in its most wholesome form, 
within you. 

Time lessens their impact on you but it 

doesn't deny their once so obvious existence. 

So now and again you wake up 

and you can still remember what you felt. 

How you felt it when you felt it. 

The great feeling it gave you when you did.

The respect you have for him despite

his no longer existing or being present in your life.

The butterflies flying suddenly,

symbolic of a new season, a new chapter, without him.

Yet the residue of feelings remain. 

And if the butterflies don't leave something good behind, 

over time they don't leave something bad either.

And then there are those butterflies

that fly a little every day. 

Minute by minute. Hour by hour. One day at a time. 

These butterflies change everything. They let you get 

attached and then, just like that, they are gone. 

Slowly killing off every good memory one by one. 

As your memories of them fade little by little, 

so does something within you. 

Something in what you feel. 

In your vision of the other. 

Butterflies that were once so beautiful. 

So wholesome. So untainted. 

Suddenly, you realise that

butterflies aren't always pretty.

Like they seemed in the beginning.

Back when every flower bloomed and 

the stars only shined because of their wings. 

When life lay in the palm of your hand, 

golden and glittering. When you could have spent all day

just tracing with your eyes, the gorgeous pattern on their wings. 

Every day with the butterflies was a kind of euphoria. 

Then life rolls on. 

Seasons change.

Days swallow each other 

one after the other. Those butterflies 

pack their teeny tiny suitcases and 

fly out one by one

You notice the weeds 

beside the flowers and the dark 

between the stars. Life is life. 

You have a million things to do 

and no time for adventures,

no time to chase the butterflies.

This is the way it goes. 

Winter comes and the butterflies fly.

The sparks between you burn out. 

What once shone so bright now

feels wrong. And you can't quite trace 

when it happened, because it happened so gradually. 

It happened in all those moments

when the butterflies you chased

were flying further away a little every day. 

In that bitterness. That toxicity. The begrudging. 

In the process your memories of them change.

You can't quite remember the good. 

The times where the love you shared 

was anything other than what it is now. 

And your grip on the butterfly net lessens. 

Your fight to catch it weakens. 

Your need to keep it alive wanes. 

There is now more bother in it than fun.

Way more bother. That's how you know you've let it go.

And just like that you wake up one morning 

and you realise you don't miss the butterflies anymore.

Wrote this this morning. He posted a picture of her on his instagram and I thought a lot about how love changes, how quickly we can lose something that seems so permanent at the time. This morning was the first time I realised I was truly happy for him, not caught up in a lost love. I don't miss him anymore. So I decided to use the art form he favours most to say a proper goodbye to that period of my life. Bye bye B. 


  1. while reading this, I got caught up in the flow completely. I felt what I was going to read in the next paragraph. amazing. tell me please, how do you write? I've seen you keep a notebook and/or diary - do you do most writing offline though? have a lovely weekend, dear x

    1. ahhh thank you Lisi! That is so lovely of you <3 I'm so self-conscious of a lot of my writing that it remains on little bits of scrap paper, or in my journal, so I guess I do write a lot more offline. I don't normally post things like this, things I've not been working on for weeks/months etc x

  2. I think this is a very clever way of writing about love and feelings. I can be a pedantic critic when it comes to language use, but we'll leave that for now since it's clear that this was written in the spur of an emotional moment.

    It's funny. I'm in the process of seeing my butterflies fly away, too. They're not just flying freely out of me, though. They're not unhindered. They're ripping out of me, tearing my body apart. They're poking and puncturing holes in me as I try to let them out, because I know keeping them in will only destroy me.

    I may quote you as I go through this process. Also, I don't know you personally, but good on you, Anne.


    1. gah, thank you May! I normally wouldn't post something that's so rough, but sometimes emotional morning poetry sometimes needs to be let out! I'm really sorry you're feeling that way too, because it's horrible <3

  3. Hey Anne, how are you :)
    I just had to leave you a reply this morning before going to work because of this beautiful work. I like how you used the butterfly to symbolize him and your love before you both moved on. I find it interesting how something so innocent, and beautiful as a butterfly can also leave you feeling so alone and lonely and defeated. I never though of it that way and I loved the metaphor and that you made me see something new today. I don't know If I am making sense but I want to say that I like this writing a lot, and knowing it was in the spur of the moment thing, I find it impressive.
    I'm proud of you that you moved on and you were able to find some happiness after all.
    wishing you all the best,
    ayele :)

    1. Ahh hi Ayele! I'm good, how are you? AHH. Thank you so much you beautiful soul :) x


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