Marching side by side,
two by two
staying on the sidewalk,
as the legal observers advised.
Chanting something that feels determined,
it didn’t matter the language of the words,
it was the rhythm that made them one undulating dragon
marching to the border
in the hot desert sun.

But I am Mariposa de la Gente Amable.
I fly by my own laws
I freely cross your cruel walls
however high.
I just flutter my wings and fly!

I flew among them in the hot sun,
uplifted by their spirited chant.
Some noticed me and smiled.
Some were too preoccupied
to see anything as free as me.
Such sad creatures,
forced by the laws of physics and biology
to remain rooted to the earth;
forced by the laws of politics and greed
to be separated by papers and steel.

Possession of documents let some cross,
to a place with the same houses, same shops, same gentle people,
knowing they could return.
Without papers,
just one step into that other country
and you will be forever separated.
Kind, hard working or brilliant…
all that matters is that damned document.

But I am Mariposa de la Gente Amable.
I fly by my own laws
I freely cross your cruel walls
however high.
I just flutter my wings and fly!

I flew gaily among them
as hundreds arrived,
on both sides of that slithering serpent of rusted steel
as if they had restrained your magnificent Quetzalcoatl to the earth,
to sort people by birthplace, like they are weeds
to sort people by colors, like they are beads
to sort people by heirloom, like they are seeds
A mariposa wonders why?

The gentle people sang and their songs passed easily through that wall
They played music, and either side could dance.
Speaking with smiles and songs
that transcended language and culture,
they told stories of separation and courage,
that inspired and touched each of the gentle people,
no matter where they stood on that divide.

Their singing and dancing and speaking made those ugly pillars dissolve.
They were just places between the spaces to cast welcome shade.
And there were faces of friends in the spaces.
Space enough for arms to reach through and touch.
To make a hug of two gentle people,
sandwiching an irrelevant pillar.

But I am Mariposa de la Gente Amable.
I fly by my own laws
I freely cross your cruel walls
however high.
I just flutter my wings and fly!

Some of the gentle people brought wings to wear,
Cardboard butterflies of orange and black
Symbolic of migration unhindered by walls.
They danced and fluttered their paper wings
and dreamed of a time when there would be nothing dividing them,
no walls, or laws, or fear,
no Border Patrol, no Migra, no detention centers.
They danced and sang and dreamed.

Some would notice the profusion of real butterflies
that suddenly appeared that day in the hot desert sun
at the wall that divides Nogales.