For Eleanor, On Butterfly

When I was very young, around 4 years or so, I participated in a school performance.

They gave me huge wings – butterfly wings – and I had to sing “I’m a little butterfly” to the tune of “I’m a little teapot”. I remember those wings.

I am neither a butterfly nor a teapot, and maybe I knew that even then, and  that’s why I stood perfectly still, frozen with butterfly wings, silently rebelling.

I would learn later, of course, that silence is generally preferable and even demanded of me and doesn’t amount to much of a rebellion, after all.

And later still, I would learn again that what is being demanded is performance.

I’m sorry Eleanor, this was supposed to be about a butterfly.

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