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)