At last, I know a butterfly’s pain. 
Lying on a blanket in the park. 
Staring at clouds. One with the Sun.
She holds me in her warm, forgiving love.
And I love her back. 
This time, without borders. Without fear. 
It took me 22 years to become this brave.
22 revolutions. 22 revelations.
I put one leg before the other and skipped and danced around my Celestial Mother.
Half asleep, she smiled and kissed my temples and there buttercups began to bloom. 
I experienced a magical metamorphosis. 
It began as a slow and angry ache. A tearing of flesh and a thundering migraine. It took my breath away and left me for dead. 
I had nightmares of a stranger’s forgotten childhood. I felt hopeless. It fed on my dreams and my desires. 
And finally, when it had consumed the illusion, I went entirely into submission
Then, thank God,
I was able to see the humble and supreme beauty of becoming oneself 
I was left with no choice.  
A magnificent metamorphosis brought me here today. 
I know a butterfly’s pain. 
I know the consequence of a single-minded labour.
Unhinged, I followed roads I could not see through a foggy mind. 
I ploughed the same earth as my forefathers. I sowed the same seeds. 
I battled an ancient, ardent confusion. 
I missed my grandmother
I took dishonest lovers
And then, like an unexpected and well deserved gift
A veil was lifted. 
Insidious and overtly
I changed 

About the author:

Gaelle Lonji is a PPE graduate from the University of Johannesburg, a language teacher and an avid reader and writer. She enjoys expressing herself through poetry. 

Photo by _ drz _ on Unsplash