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