her teeth were rotting, her cotton
house dress was grey and grimy,
a strange dirty hat she always wore,

we were terrified of her and
wondered if just maybe she
might be a witch instead of a lady,

she watched my brother catch
butterflies all that summer,
the 8th grade project of choice,

at least once a week she grabbed
one of our arms, led us to her
shack across the road,

she wanted us to see how
she had caught the most recent
prize with her own bare hands,

wings still beating, torn into
a million pieces, she pointed to
the butterfly pinned alive on the wall,

and now in my sleep, 30 years later,
i dream of what might have been,
in our house at the edge of the prairie,

if we had not allowed fools to capture
our very own colored butterflies and
torture them nightly on dead blackened walls.


picture of butterflies

Copyright 1997 The Courage of Our Confusion. All Rights Reserved. Comments? E-mail comments@confusio.com
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