Once, when I was around five or six, I found the most beautiful monarch caught in the grill of my dads Chevy Nova. I remember thinking that maybe I could fix it as the Iowa wind made its wings flutter once more. Who knows how long it had been there, or if it suffered any. Small children don’t think about those things, we think simple, concrete things–like “can I make it fly again?”
And I believed I could. I used to believe in a lot of things back then. and part of me still does. I remember my right knee being bandaged up from wrecking my bike the day before, and how I cried as I watched the blood form a crooked, thin line down my shin. The band-aids were 12 hours old dirty and worn by this time as I sat on my knees in the gravel drive, in front of the car with the monarch.
The right-wing felt dry against my small fingertip and it crumpled like an oak leaf in the fall beneath my pressure. Bits of orange and black stained the tip a bit, as I watched in horror at what I had just done.