The Lonely Beetle

The Lonely Beetle

The green lonely beetle tracked long through high rivers and the underpass. 

By 6 pm it delivered a little girl with crooked cut bangs to a little tan house.

An old dying maple once stood, its autumn leaves were the color of her long-grown bob. 

She bid a faint farewell to her friend the beetle, stepping into the soft embrace of the little tan house. 

On these summer nights when she's returned from a land long traveled, "I love you's" are bid and prairie pink pajamas are changed into.

The girl is tired from school, the last month of the 8th grade, and she will be tired a long while longer.

On these evenings the air smells of rotting wood and sweet creamed coffee:

The air was so wet you could only sleep in your silken sheets; AC a temperature reminiscent of the Arctic.

On these summer nights with the beetle, the little girl would walk barefoot through a land of turquoise linoleum, plywood slates, and sharp green grass.

The beetle's hard shell left it pristine, the little girl was left with splinters.

The beetle was sad and lonely, and it made the girl sad and lonely too.

The beetle told stories long into the summer nights that left a lump in your throat. 

It sat on your legs until it was too hard to bear, and gave embraces that left you suffocated. 

The beetle never said any "I love you's," its attempts an imitation.

The beetle was beginning to smell of rot, and the girl could tell it was dying. 

And sometimes the beetle left, always returning a little bit more lonely. 

The girl felt pity for the beetle. Though the beetle was lonely, sometimes the lonely hurt. 

Here in the little tan house, the girl smelled of fresh creamed coffee and petrichor.

Here the girl was surrounded by a sun-kissed warmth full of "I love you's" and her mother by her side. 

Here the girl felt safe and no longer lonely, and that Friday evening she made a decision.

That night was the last night she'd be hurt by the beetle.

And so the girl left the lonely beetle all alone. 



15 years old



16 years old

The Voice

February 2024

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