Advice from a Caterpillar

When I was egg, I too, clung onto leaf
in shaded safety, hidden underside.
And fastened by a pinprick of belief
I dared to dream I was a butterfly.

A hunger hatched. I ate the home I knew
then inched along the disappearing green.
In shedding every skin that I outgrew,
became a hundred times the size I’d been.

And now I’m spinning silk to fix my spot.
Outside remains. Inside I’m changing things.
This caterpillar’s planning on the lot;
proboscis and antennae, four bright wings.

So keep on clinging on, my ovoid one.
For who you are has only just begun.

RacheI Rooney’s first poetry collection The Language of Cat won the CLPE Poetry Award and was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. Her second collection My Life as a Goldfish was shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2015. Her newest collection is A Kid in my Class, illustrated by Chris Riddell. Rachel visits schools for workshops with pupils and has performed her work at festivals and for The Children’s Bookshow. She was Chair of Judges for the CLiPPA 2017 and the Betjeman Poetry Prize.