She was mummifying Barbies

the day I met her,

singing softly to herself,

burying platinum bodies in earth.

I sat under the crabapple tree,

crabapples falling in an uneven halo.

The first time she invited me to her house,

we dressed up like Laura Ingalls Wilder

in petticoats and tiaras.

One summer we found a cocoon in anise wood.

Budding biologists, we beat the sunset home,

emptied a liter of Coca-Cola,

inserted the leafy branch inside,

constructed the caterpillar’s castle,

our ship frozen inside a glass jug.

Embalmed dolls brushed aside,

we moved instead to fill the inanimate with life.

The orange butterfly cast off her coat days later.

We took her out to the anise field and watched

in awe as she flew out to Laura’s prairie.

Crabapples fell but did not crush the glowing halo.