This, that I carry like a butterfly,
prisoner in my cupped and outstretched hands,
is, of all things, small,
but great in its demands
and bears within itself a world of power.
I close my hand upon it like a wall.
For this there can be neither time nor season
and of all things upon the earth
it has the least to do with reason.
(I open my hand, finger from palm. Look!)
This holds within it life, death, and birth;
used wrong, there is no harm it cannot do.
Look long, look carefully;
this is for you.
-John R. Nash