A Butterfly Dancer

2

madame-butterfly

The alleyway, our playground
where our feet swept dirt up
and away making clouds
of dust, where we kicked
the can and boys sped by
riding a new red American
Flyer and Mickey Mantle
flapped between wire
spokes near black grease…
And butterflies were many.

In the alleyway where the
bike I rode was a putrid
shade of green, wide fenders,
wide tires and wide handle
bar, so twisting left or right
took longer than those on
American Flyers. I bounced
harder, and landed on the
ground bruising wildflowers
while a perfect butterfly
fluttered above my head…

I wanted to fly
like the butterfly.

I played in dresses with
petticoats, red socks and
patent leather shoes scuffed
by dragging my toes to stop
the bike… or stop a wooden
swing attached to the old
maple tree. And we printed
in large letters, our names
on brick and surrounded
our names in giant hearts.
We tossed stones at boys
then ran behind the brick
facade where we crossed
out the name of the one we
thought we loved.

The alleyway gave anyone a
glimpse into your yard, to see
laundry attached to a clothesline
or a pear tree, apple tree, or a
grapevine growing onto a
neighbor’s property.

And, stunning butterflies
danced around daisies.

It was a time when Mama
spent hours on the old
red sofa sewing dance
costumes and she never
liked to sew, but I loved
to dance.

A time when my older
brother spent hours holding
a butterfly net, and when
he finally caught one he
held two delicate wings apart
with Mamas’ tweezers,
before pouring liquid on
wings to kill them.
Each butterfly on display
inside a glass covered box
to stare at.

I wanted to fly
like the butterfly.

Mama took the longest
time sewing my butterfly
wings… she kept pushing
her glasses up when they
fell down her nose. She
would stab herself with a
sewing needle, suck blood
from her finger; not to soil
pretty colors.

Mama watched me dance.

I wanted to fly like the butterfly.

2 Comments
  1. Margo Barotta says

    verry interesting ,great story

  2. Nancy Duci Denofio says

    Margo I have just found these posts, sorry I have never replied. Thanks for reading all this writing, I never knew how many were really here. Angie is a wonderful person with one magazine well read online. Thanks, Nancy

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