Facing Poverty in McPherson, Kansas

A Poem by Kristie Huhn

We are like butterflies, caught in the hands of life. We beat our wings trying to escape the prison we are in. We continue to beat and beat our wings until they are crushed. We are wounded. The hands open up and we fall, defeated, to the ground. Lying helpless in the dirt, we look up and watch as we are ignored. Stepped over and almost stepped on time and time again.

Then someone stops … actually stops and takes the time to look at us. They reach down and ever so gently, pick us up, holding us in the cup of their hands. We struggle trying to fight, remembering the past hurts we went through. We are powerless. We can’t fight any more. We are broken!

They put us in a safe secure place. We are scared.  Day after day, they nurture us with soft words of encouragement. As each day passes, we cry less, hurt less. We grow stronger, gaining strength. Strength we never thought we had.

Then one day we start to feel our wings move, just a little at first.  We become afraid and we withdraw. Yet the words of encouragement keep coming. Slowly we start to believe them, start to believe in ourselves, so we start to move our wings again.

The stronger our wings get, the more they move. When one day our wings are finally healed, but still we stay. Our wings are healed but our soul is not. Still the words of encouragement come.  Then all of a, sudden we wake up. We realize we are free. We have found freedom, freedom to fly, fly wherever we want to go, do whatever we want to do. The freedom to be who we want to be. But most important, the freedom to succeed at being the person we were always meant to be, but never had the courage or the wisdom to know how to be that person while we were trapped in the hands of life. 

Without Circles all the butterflies have a good chance at dying.

You will read some of our stories in this book. Stories of how we have overcome odds and now we are on our way to success. Without help, a lot of us will never get that chance to write our new ending. The butterflies in this poem are those of us living in poverty and those healing the butterflies are Circles. You may ask, ‘what can I do? I am just one person’. One person is all it takes to make a difference in someone’s life. We always need volunteers. One way of volunteering is to be an Ally. Allies are intentional friends nothing more nothing less. They are just everyday people. They are an ear to bend when things are not going right; a shoulder to cry one when all hope is lost; open arms to give hugs when comfort is needed; a warm heart to let us know someone cares and a big smile and some words of encouragement as we continue on our journey to a better life, to self-reliance. And you know what? We always have time for our friends!

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