Monday, June 21, 2010


Originally Published in Dogzplot

In the park, Jenny's father folded an old newspaper into a kite. I asked my mother could she do the same. Instead, she stalked the hedges, walked alongside them until she spotted a blue dragonfly.

The insect was balanced on the sword-shaped tip of a leaf. My mother positioned her hand above it. In one quick motion her fingers had the dragonfly's clear wings pincered between them. The dragonfly's tail curled inward, and its spindly forelegs clawed the air.

Back at the picnic table, my mother dug red thread out of her hobo bag and looped some around the dragonfly's thick neck. She set the wooden spool into my palm. "Here," she said. "Go fly this."

When she saw my dragonfly buzzing skyward, Jenny dropped her kite. She ran over and stood beside me clapping her hands. She begged me to let her try. But since I had no father to magically craft old newspapers into boats or hats or kites, I ignored Jenny and continued to maneuver my dragonfly with pride.

The thread went slack and Jenny laughed. She picked her kite up off the ground and bolted across the park. I reeled in my headless dragonfly.

I sat on the grass, and while I pinched apart my dragonfly's segmented tail, I listened to Jenny's kite flap in the afternoon breeze. I lifted my head then, and saw my mother at the picnic table, laughing with yet another strange man.

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