• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 07

The Weight of Butterflies

Once the rain had stopped,
they’d left the town. Her
little sister guided her down
the country lane, where they
sat on the embankment
at the bottom of the field
sloping down the hill behind
the town’s main road.
The birds had come out.
She could hear them.
Meg said there was
a double rainbow
against the receding
storm’s dark clouds.
They had sheltered
in the church portico
during the downpour.
It hadn’t lasted long.
But it had meant
there would be today
no more coins for song.
Meg leaned against her,
looking back, likely
at those rainbows she’d
espied. The concertina
inhaled a bit as Mary
shifted to accommodate


The Weight of Butterflies

her sister. She fingered
a tuft of grass, still damp
but also richly scented,
as she dreamed—for just
a moment. About rainbows.
She remembered them,
their ribboned, spectral
colors. What was it they
betokened? Promise.
The weight of butterflies.
If only Meg’s rainbows
promised the two of them
the better days she prayed
for, the better days Spring
now signaled—fluttering
and singing all around.