damaged Goods

Damaged Goods

In summer sun’s sagacious rays
A butterfly with ragged wings
Settled on the sidewalk
In search of food or rest or other things
Slow, strolling steps brought me to her side that day

Her wings were slowly yawning to and fro
I saw the ragged edges marred
A predator had tried to take her life
She got away but bore the scars
Now she flies erratically, and slow

But ah, her colors shimmered so!
Blue purer than the air
In the sun, sparkled like a million atom stars
Yellow so shy it was hardly there
Emerald splashed like strokes by Michelangelo

They froze my gait
And captured my eyes
’Til I was lost in a universe
Of delicate size
And majestic fate

I held my breath
My throat grew tight
I fell in love
With the spirit’s fight
To live beyond its brush with death

Feelings tumbled from my breast
If I could only paste a part of my soul
On her wing to repair its ragged loss
I gladly would, to make her whole
Who more than measure, she had blessed
But hope and want rarely comply
With harsh reality
Or the step of time
Nor can beauty cure insanity Or heart enfold a butterfly

So I stood entranced by her beauty there
And caught the spirit of her bravery
Though torn and damaged goods
She was the loveliest butterfly I shall ever see Her injury made her only all the more fair

She could not have known how much I cared
We both were bound by destiny
The moment passed as moments do
And then she flew away from me
Fluttering and stumbling through the air

About this poem

only a metaphore

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Written on May 25, 1999

Submitted by steve-edwards on April 18, 2022

Modified on May 01, 2023

1:27 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,475
Words 290
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 9, 4, 5

William Stephen Edwards

William Stephen Edwards was raised on a dryland cotton farm in West Texas. He holds a BA in English (1965) and an MS in Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology (1972) from Texas Tech University. Mr. Edwards is a decorated Vietnam veteran and is divorced, with two daughters. Currently he is a retired Speech/Language Pathologist living in Austin, Texas. more…

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Discuss the poem "damaged Goods" with the community...

  • Vixility
    Beautiful poem. I wonder what Nabokov—himself a poet and lover of butterflies—would have thought of it ...
    LikeReply1 year ago
    • steve-edwards
      thank you sir- I hope he would approve
      LikeReply1 year ago
  • Soulwriter
    I loved reading this snapshot of a moment in time...
    LikeReply1 year ago
    • steve-edwards
      You are too kind- I hope we can share our souls as time goes on
      LikeReply1 year ago
  • abielias1
    I can see from this piece that you're an old hat at this! Your use of form is flawless. Congratulations on a well-deserved placement!
    LikeReply 11 year ago
    • steve-edwards
      thank you my lady- We will share our works I hope with each other and the world...
      LikeReply1 year ago
  • Reil
    Humans are not destined. We have the one thing that makes the next time I shared sticking to my stuck: a choice which is made by cognitive thinking. Make a better choice and realize a wounded animal doesn't stand up to the whispers of jawimg between 2 justifications for less. Likely when it's taken for food it has no fight to give as its glad it suffers more or less less no more. Anyone know what the cocoon of a human metaphores after the riddler drops the mic? See mothman by Frank Frazetta ponder the benefit of joining me in making this forum and contest the very best it can be and regard it as superior to branded humble bee tuna. 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Reil
    After reviewing the winning poems, and no offense to the winners and runners up; but this is not determined by who writes the best nor are these the best poems. I've heard criticism from other poets regarding the last contestb and I absolutely agreed, I better do my part this contest to say we need a better judging system. Rhyming to rhyme is not good poetry and none of these poems are non-fiction; none. But the writers claim it's an image of realness. Again no offense to these writers for the content or their personal experiences. Speaking wholly to the forum and mainly this system of judging you fell short of choosing the best poems by a long distance. I think maybe if you had categories where the works were judged for the best iambic pentameter, hiku, 10 lined lyric with food as the subject and let's see who is best at that. Also giving more votes to each person so we can not only vote for ourselves but because it's rigged when you give 1 vote per person which can't be for yourself, and have 3 winners and a number of runner-ups. How many awards are given is the number of votes we earned to cast, and stop allowing the judges the power to decide. If its a tie we'll split the money. Unless that's really all this is a money maker where even the awards are given to recipients that ...well I'll leave thst for you to speculate. Book I want my money all or partially returned. 
    LikeReply 21 year ago
    • steve-edwards
      I am disheartened that my work seemed so flawed.. When next we share perhaps I can find a form of better ilk...
      LikeReply1 year ago
  • Symmetry58
    This is by far the best poem of the lot. This is true poetry.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
    • steve-edwards
      the poet does not seek acclaim, he seeks the magic that transfers feeling to another- thank you for your kind remark
      LikeReply 11 year ago
    • Symmetry58
      There will always be acclaim expressed via those who are moved by poetry. Stay humble, friend. We'll handle the acclaim. ;-)
      LikeReply 11 year ago


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"damaged Goods" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/126317/damaged-goods>.

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