Of The Ladybug and Yesterday: 9.16.17

9/16/17
11:27pm
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A ladybug landed, audibly, bouncing my ears to attention, on the lamp next to the fish tank where the fish had died not even a month ago, and I knew you were gone.
I thought at first I was arrogant to think you would come to visit me. I am not even your daughter or sister, after all. But then I wondered if you came and visited all of us, all at once. 
You can do that now – you are eternal. 
*
I touched her back, the ladybug, and she didn’t fly away.
*
And I wondered further at this need to see our loved ones transformed into beings we think of as free: ladybugs and butterflies, birds, things that fly, the wind,
*
and not the jolt in our stomachs, and goose-bumped skin, responding to the whispers of the wind, or the ladybug, we feel suddenly familiar around.
*
My body is all I have to remember you by.
*
A ladybug is not free, like what we think of as empty space, between us and the trees.
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And I realize I got it wrong when I wrote: The only way to keep a butterfly in your hand is to kill it. But then even so it is gone. 
*
No, there’s a pulse when you’re still for a moment, and look to the sky, after the butterfly, or bird, ladybug, the wind, has flown away, like what we think is the freedom we wish for you.
*
But I found a dragonfly wing in the grass, in the backyard, the day after a rain storm; completely intact, remaining, still on the ground, though the body was what we think of as gone.
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