Sunny day

age 6

when I was just beginning to feel my own skin

a monarch butterfly landed on my arm

her perch was delicate

elated by feeling chosen

there was no one at home I cared to show

I walked four curving neighborhood blocks to

show my friend

this bright orange and black magic

When I was almost to the house at the end of the cul-de-sac,

large, white, fenced with flowers

a tiny dog came running out from another driveway

the butterfly was gone

I didn’t even see her go because that tiny dog scared me

I froze, went silent, held my breath, screamed inside

The dog ran away

I was terrified

After knocking on the door of my friend’s house

with no one answering

I let myself in

shaking and crying I didn’t go upstairs but walked through the kitchen to the backyard

where I sat on the very top of her giant slide

and cried

felt like hours before I came down

and walked back home

no one ever saw my butterfly.