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Butterfly Necklace


She said the necklace came

from her own mother, who got it

from someone else before the war.


She hid it safely in her pocket

when they had to get away.

Through the long nights and endless days,


through all those different countries,

she kept the butterfly necklace close.

The necklace was made


of gold, with red and blue wings,

and she said she wore it so that

I’d remember something of her


when she’d gone. And when she flew

off, like a butterfly through the summer

sun, that necklace was what


was left; the butterfly necklace – 

red, blue and gold – that sits soft

and heavy on my chest.

(This poem was runner up in the prestigious

Caterpillar Poetry Prize, judged by Michael Rosen)

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