Are We Free Like Butterflies?
Are we free? The butterflies are free.
Free to fly over the land,
And to look down upon the cattle.
And they can rest on flowers
And taste their essence,
And smell their fragrances.
They are free to go into the trees where the birds live
And the owl perches and hunts for its prey at night.
The butterflies can watch a snake as it slivers across the earth.
Butterflies are free.
They are free to wander anywhere—
Bowers, graveyards, streets,
Anywhere they please.
They are free to light upon the ground,
To touch us and to make us feel blessed.
Are we free?
If only our spirits could be as free as they are.
Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein, Bangladesh
Translation by the author and Stanley Barkan