top of page

The Skylark Prize

Allison Cooke

butterfly Road: List

Butterfly Road

I passed you by this afternoon
heading home from a festival
where I painted your image
onto little kids’ faces and
I watched them smile
at themselves in the mirror.
I saw your brothers and sisters
lying miles away from you,
their bodies broken but shining
like they were taking a break
to rest their weightless wings.
The bullets got them, roaring
through the still summer air.
I was in one of them when I spotted you.
You were snapped like a toothpick
and thrown to the side of the road.
I painted you onto my hand
every day before the kids came
so I could paint the person you really were
inside your butterfly body.

butterfly Road: Text
bottom of page