Butterfly wings

When we were in the airport on Tuesday, coming back from Boston, Brian had parked my wheelchair at one of the less crowded gates while he went to get some food. I sat by myself – people watching – and soon the gate became crowded as a plane had arrived and travelers were exiting. As I observed people passing by, I became fixated on a little girl who had just come off the flight. I sat there watching her and I had thoughts swirling through my brain and I wanted to capture what I was feeling and share it. On the way home, the video monitor on the plane was not working and since I did not bring a book, I had nothing to do but close my eyes and rest and during that time I thought about what I wanted to say about the moment I saw the little girl and so I wrote a poem. I share it with you now …

I heard her
before I saw her
it was a whimper
but not one of pain
rather one of defiance
her hair was tangled
creating spider web designs in the sunlight
she had probably been sleeping
still tired after her long flight
she was not far from me
and I could see her blue eyes
and her lashes were wet
from crying
she sat and her feet dangled
she had pink shoes
I love pink
I wanted pink shoes too
the words came out
in her childlike innocence
I won’t walk
I don’t want to walk
her mother passed by
carrying a baby
most likely her sibling
he did not have to walk
because he couldn’t yet
the mother pleaded with the child
but she stayed in her seat
with her pink shoes
and her tangled hair
she looked up and caught me looking at her
she put her thumb in her mouth
a comforting vice
at such a young age
we looked at each other for a few seconds
and I implored her
with my eyes
walk little girl
use those pink shoes
and walk
she did not look away
but instead she looked at my feet
the metal braces
holding my feet in place
her mother had moved on
instilling a lesson
don’t pout
keep up with me
the little girl met my eyes again
my eyes pleaded
walk with your pretty pink shoes
she slid off the seat
and took a few step
her eyes still locked on mine
and then with butterfly wings
her pink shoes
began to move quicker
and then she ran
to catch up with her mother
and in my mind
I was walking with her
but my butterfly wings
could not keep up

12 thoughts on “Butterfly wings

  1. Wow!

    Simply beautiful. So good to see Brian and you yesterday.


  2. Wow Kathy- that’s beautiful…
    You took such a simple little observation that most people would glance at and forget and you captured that moment so expressively and beautifully.
    I’m realizing that you have many talents. Thanks so much for sharing…..


  3. This is so touching. Tears running down my eyes. Please, never quit. Just keep charging ahead in your mind’s “pink shoes.” We will all be behind you, doing our best to catch up. 💝


  4. This was incredibly moving to read – leaving a lump in my throat. Truly beautiful 💚


    1. Hi Kathy, You don’t know me but, your Mom and I grew up on Ridgewood st. Childhood friends and friends to this day. We had lunch together today and she offered to share your blog and this beautiful poem. It is picture into you soul and the wonderful woman you are. Know that my prayers are with you and your family on your journey.


  5. Again, you are an unbelievably talented writer. Absolutely beautiful!


  6. Kathy, that was so poignant. A basic observation that only you could make. I felt that I was seeing this scene, as if I was there. Life is full of subtleties and you don’t seem to miss any of them. Thank you for sharing that. Please continue….


  7. This is so beautiful and as I read it I almost felt I was another onlooker in the airport watching you and the little girl in the pink shoes. I have shared this post via my blog as I love your openness and honesty as you live with ALS


  8. You are so talented!


  9. You took us all there with you.
    Just beautiful…thank you.


  10. GEORGETTE HEERWAGEN August 2, 2019 — 1:23 pm

    Kathy-First, I’m so happy you have been accepted into the trial. Great news! With all your positive vibes, along with those that are along the ride with you, that coin toss will go your way. I continue to be amazed at your attitude and your amazing talent at writing and now you give us your beautiful poetry. Your are truly inspirational. If you need a ride from Logan to Worcester or vice versa, please let me know. I’ll make it work.


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