The Healer

A butterfly flits earnestly—
box to bag, drug to dairy, produce
to poultry—prodding the random and
haphazard parade onward to the tireless
tempos of the checkout scanner’s beep.

True, it’s only a tattoo,
needled into that soft place
between index finger and
thumb at the back of the hand,
but the girl with the sparkling eyes
wears it like a badge, an emblem
of promise and possibility.

Her line is always longest,
conversation there always
freshest, the laughter
always freest. She rises up
like an oasis in an otherwise
dry and dreary domain.

After a bruising bout with fortune
and fate, I, too, am drawn to her
this day, not by concerns for speed
or efficiency, far less by fantasies
of seduction or allure, but by a simple
need to witness that healers still
mingle among us to breathe our air
and touch our wounds.

© 2009 Dennis Ference

20 thoughts on “The Healer

  1. Beautiful poem. But, was I wrong to take the butterfly on the arm of the cashier literally? Or was it just a symbol? Of course, the reader always sees what they want. But, I would appreciate the writer’s intention. Thanks.

    • The butterfly was an actual tattoo on the back of her hand. It became for me a symbol of the “new life” with which she gifted her customers by the way she served them. The butterfly symbolizes resurrection. I appreciate the attention you gave the poem. Peace to you always. –Dennis

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s