Tuesday, October 17, 2017

DMC: "Butterfly Effect" by Bridget Magee


You lured me into the dark kitchen
at the back of the gym
with the promise of extra candy.

With perfect gymnast posture
I stood in the doorway
showing off the orange gauzy wings
my mother sewed on my black leotard
to complete my metamorphosis
into a butterfly for the team Halloween party.

Your compliment,

“You are as cute as a bug,” said in a heady voice,
made something deep inside me

I knew something about the situation
was wrong.

But I was 10.

And you were my coach.

Click HERE to read this month's interview with Carrie Clickard. Her DMC challenge is to write a poem about a person, place, or thing that spooked you as a child.

Post your poem on our October 2017 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, October 27th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her enchanting new picture book from Holiday House:


  1. It's very sad to think of you at 10, Bridget, so proud of the wings, and that coach using his power. I'm sorry for the memory, and hope it helps to share. Thanks for your courage!

    1. Agreed--it makes me so sad for your younger self, and for you, to have such a memory. Thank you for sharing--one of the most scary things I can think of happening to a child.

  2. You turned a raw, hurtful memory into a powerful poem, Bridget. I'm proud of you for writing about it.

  3. XXX so sorry you had to go through this we all care about you hope it helps writing this poem

  4. Well done, Bridget. You convey the child's point-of-view poignantly and effectively. xo

  5. Such a powerful and timely poem. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

  6. What a sad and powerful coming-of-age poem. Thank you very much for writing and sharing this, Bridget.

  7. OH, my. That is extremely powerful and tragic.

  8. Thanks for being brave enough to share this, Bridget--sending a hug to your 10-year old self.

  9. Thank you all for your warm encouragement and kindness. It's amazing what can come up while writing these Ditty exercises. Unfortunately, my story is not an isolated event. Hugs to all the women who have been affected by someone similar to my coach at any point in their life.

  10. Your powerful poem will linger with me. The vulnerability of your small 10-year-old butterfly self is heartbreaking. I'm so sorry.

  11. Wow. This is so sad and so powerful. This is the kind of poem that can give young girls the strength they need to stand up to abusers knowing they are not alone. Thanks for your bravery.