(About a 2 minute read)
Rae and Butch were wildflowers.
The kind you rarely find in the city,
But when you do, they’re growing
Up through cracks in the pavement,
Often in the poorer quarters,
Indifferent to the city’s rules.
Their petals are usually chewed a bit
By bugs that took a bite,
But then moved on to more tender fare.
They survive much, those flowers.
Butch and Rae were far too unconventional
In how they thought and felt about things
Not to make their own rules.
Rae didn’t often run off with another man.
Maybe only once every year or two.
And when she did, she’d come back
In a week or so. She was faithful to Butch,
But she was no one’s possession.
Not even his.
But neither was Rae the kind
Who breaks or toys with promises.
It’s just the two of them had avoided
Making the usual rules for each other.
Of course every man Rae found
Was younger than Butch, much younger.
The men she found were all about her own age.
And just about every one of them
Was better looking than Butch too,
Much better looking.
Butch’s life had been hard
And it showed in his face,
And it showed hard.
He wasn’t an ugly man
But his face was ancient.
You throw away your shoes long before
They get as ancient as Butch’s face.
Rae was newborn in comparison.
She had still-satin skin,
And her face and her shape
Were magnetic to more than enough
Men for her to have her pick
When she wanted to run off.
Most folks who knew the couple,
But didn’t know the couple well,
Were puzzled by Rae.
“Why is she with he?”
“When will she wake up and leave?”
Most thought the next breeze,
Or the one after that,
Would see Rae gone.
Surely Butch was too old for her.
But Rae always returned faithfully
From her entertainments.
She always returned faithfully
From her refreshments.
And Rae always gave Butch the same reason
For why she had returned.
Always the same reason.
She could talk with him.
Rae could talk with Butch
And he would listen.
Butch would listen to Rae.
Only Butch, Rae would say,
Ever “got” Rae.