Where the Ladybugs Go by Dahlia Garofalo



We painted little red circles

for the ladybugs strewn across the windowsill

legs tucked up into their dry bellies

for the baby ladybugs, small specks of red

kids on the playground smashed between rocks


We painted round black spots

for the ladybugs grandma pinched

between her cracked fingers

and the ladybugs she flicked from the raspberries

into buckets of sour bleach


We painted bulbous antennae

for the ladybugs auntie smashed against

her ceiling with the end of her broom handle

for the ladybugs who fortuitously flew into

the rainwater buckets on the side of the garage


For the ladybugs trapped in our porch

shiny corpses glued to the screen

we painted flowers



Dahlia Garofalo is a recent graduate of Winona State University’s English writing and sustainability programs. Her short stories “Bachelor Buttons” and “Rodent Lovers” won the 2020 Winona Writing Prize. She is currently working on a middle-grade novel about helping kids process trauma and neglect. When not writing, she can be found crocheting, spending time with her rescue dog, and delving into the magic of mushrooms. She is a strong advocate of eco-justice and human/animal rights. You can find her on Instagram @dahlias_writings or on her blog, https://dahliaswritings.wordpress.com

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