For the dverse prompt, to use the word, shed.


Layer after layer,

a geological time chart

of masks and slight illusions, I wore.

Pudeur and self-consciousness,

vanity and fear

made of fashion a pose

and the choice of shoes a statement,

until the form beneath dissolved

like a shadow in water.

The layers thickened,

became a crust,

and then you

with your keen-bladed desires

sliced and pared, stripped and shredded,

and I shed the years of hiding,

emerged what I am,

butterfly or frog,

nymph or downy fledgling,

tender-bellied and brittle-winged

but real.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

54 thoughts on “Metamorphosis”

  1. Oh this is excellent! The process of accretion you’ve described here in the becoming….the layering on and atop in response to….expectations? Defenses? All of that “stuff” until that one person sees….and gives us the space, approval, love, acceptance to be real. Just a superb response to the prompt. Perfect title as well.

  2. There is so much to comment on, Jane, and so many layers! I really love the
    ‘geological time chart /of masks and slight illusions’, the ‘with your keen-bladed desires’ and the sharp sounds of the paired verbs ‘sliced and pared, stripped and shredded’. A tender-bellied nymph, eh!

  3. Metamorphosis, indeed! So many of us are so afraid to come out of hiding, but “butterfly or frog,” it is well worth it to be real. I love the progression here.

  4. I feel like I have morphed so many times – the choice of attire, the way I wear my hair. You were on the same wavelength as Jilly with her ‘lipstick’. Nicely written.

      1. Seeking Kali And
        Shiva Embracing
        Aghori And Brahman
        Finding Balance oF
        Dark and Light
        Satori Nirvana
        Bliss the Kingdom
        Of Heaven Within
        Loving All that is
        Loving All the
        Face That is
        All of
        Nature Plus
        A Dung Fertilized
        Garden Eye oF aLL
        Appreciating All that Helps Us
        Rise as
        Star DusT
        PLuST LoVE..:)

  5. Beautiful.
    I love how raw and honest this piece is: no one ever acknowledges the possibility of a frog emerging from the cocoon; it’s always butterflies and wings and the brightest of hopes. But the beauty of tearing out a mask is that you do it despite knowing that you might be better off hidden.

    1. That’s exactly right. It’s the risk you take when you let yourself be uncovered. You might not consider yourself a butterfly, but that’s not the point, it’s what you are, and what the other wants regardless of appearances.

  6. This is splendid, Jane. The layers of persona expressed as geological layers. (I can’t imagine you caring about fashion.) The special person who could see through all the layers and help you shed them!
    It’s funny (or typical!) that we both used metamorphosis. 🙂

    1. Probably the general coinciding of thoughts—they seem to run on roughly parallel lines 🙂 No, I never cared about fashion, but I enjoyed wearing the kind of things that nobody else was wearing. That must say something about me 🙂

  7. Well, we all are, aren’t we? Probably says this is someone who has never had the money to buy her clothes in shops and has been a rummager on flea markets since she had her first grant cheque 🙂

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