Poem 117 ± September 29, 2015

Molly Doak
The Butterfly Effect

A butterfly floated in the breeze today.
I thought of you.
We never met,
but I knew it was you.
It was scarlet red.
Like the ribbon I wear today.
You were here.

Elton John came on the radio today.
As we pulled into the drive,
Her eyes misted over
Sharing memories of how
You two used to dance.
The scarlet butterfly
Fluttered to the beat.
You were here.

I sat in a classroom today,
and learned a new term:
“Human Immunodeficiency Virus.”
A spark was ignited within me.
The scarlet butterfly
Rested on the windowsill.
You were here.

I gave a talk today.
I told the truth.
“HIV and AIDS is real,
But it does not have to be your reality.”
The scarlet butterfly
Was waiting on my windshield.
You were here.

I continue our journey tomorrow,
Each step toward a cure.
Unsure of the necessary number,
But the finish line
Is in the distance.
The scarlet butterfly
Floating on the other side.
You are here.


Molly DoakMolly Doak writes: My godfather (who knew me before I knew him) passed from a brain tumor brought on by AIDS. The story goes: my family was in his hospital room and he had been unconscious and unresponsive for quite some time. My family was arguing about which way north was and suddenly he sat up in the bed and pointed to the direction (he was great with directions). A little startled, my family decided to exit the room and let him rest. They went outside and shortly after a whole slew of butterflies flew around them. Right after they dispersed, the nurse came out and said he had passed. Although I did not know him, his life and story has certainly influenced my interest in HIV and AIDS. It has become a sincere passion of mine to educate people about this very real and very serious topic. This poem I dedicate to him, his memory, and his life.