Here we are, sore by Darren C. Demaree

We chased those butterflies for miles, Belle says & I can’t believe I caught one, Belle says quietly & I can’t believe I tore one wing off, Belle whispers & then there is silence for a while. There are a hundred butterflies in the field we are sitting in, but Belle can only look at the one still unable to leave her palm. I tell her to look up into the sky & to watch all of the butterflies & that I can fix the injured wing & as I count down to swing my arm quickly upward, Belle sees all of the butterflies & she sees the butterfly she hurt rejoining the pattern. Daddy, Belle says, you fixed her wing & I don’t tell her any different & I don’t open up my fist until I’m alone again, until I can wash my hands of her slight crime, of her panic & excitement, of my terrible decision to free her from that.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Nineteen Steps Between Us (2016, After the Pause). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.