Paradise Missed (7/8/89)

William Goresko 1951 (Philadelphia, PA) – 2008 (Willow Grove, PA)

Crawling beneath my porch roof
You worked unobserved
Assiduously spinning, spinning,
A silken case from which unknowingly
You would be reborn, after what seemed
Like a lifetime's immersion in shadow,
A winged sunbeam.

Free at last to lie upside down
In your soft grey cocoon,
No longer bound, hooked mouth
To sharp edged leaf,
Did you dream of happy flight
From petal to petal sipping nectar,
Lost in pursuit of fluttering dalliance?
Did the wind chimes sing
Of far off lands where the air, perfumed
With orange blossoms and jasmine,
Carries you from feast to feast
On the crest of its sultry breeze?

Through that summer and into fall
I waited for you to burst forth
Silently soaring across my patch of sky
But you did not and finally, retreating
From winter's nearing chill, I forgot.

One day that next spring I looked up
To rediscover your cocoon
Still intact but strangely shrunken,
A cold shadow on  my porch ceiling.

How could you know the home
You'd built would be your tomb,
And your life's intent would not take wing
As the wind chimes sang a wistful song
Of life's eternal striving.

On my son's night lamp is a picture
Of an elf gazing up at a butterfly.
I sometimes sit looking at it,
And think of what you might have been.
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Submitted by cuwoodford on May 31, 2021

Modified on April 01, 2023

1:08 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,197
Words 222
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 7, 12, 5, 4, 5, 4

William Goresko

William Goresko was an avid landscape photographer, a lover of backpacking and the outdoors, a voracious reader of classical literature and ardent fan of classical music as well as 60s rock and folk music. He also loved cooking and watching Sixers basketball games. He was a floor sander by trade. In 1984 at age 32 he was rendered quadriplegic in a car accident and lived for 24 more years. He retained his love of life and had a strong will to live. All poems were written a few years after the accident, typed one letter at a time, using a sip and puff device. Poems were submitted by his wife Cheryl. more…

All William Goresko poems | William Goresko Books

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Discuss the poem Paradise Missed (7/8/89) with the community...

  • Soulwriter
    Wow what a biography! Incredible and inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us.
    LikeReply2 years ago
  • SilentSandman
    LikeReply 12 years ago


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