Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: STEPMOTHER

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?

For links to the prompts I've written on so far this year, please click on The Butterfly Hours tab above.

This month's prompts are sister, shoes, slippers, snow, snowstorm, soccer, soup, stairs, stamp, stepmother.


I have deep respect for stepmothers. I am not a stepmother and didn't have a stepmother. But I know stepmothers, and it can be tough! Which is why, some years ago, I wrote this poem about Anne Moynet, who was John James Audubon's stepmother.

Anne Moynet Audubon, Long before
Birds of America

This boy would dart off before dawn,
climb trees, examine eggs, take out
his little pencil and draw the birds in flight.

When I’d meet him at the arbor with tea
and cookies, he’d share the bounty
of pockets: egg shells, nests of curling

leaves, feathers of every color. So what
if his cheeks stayed smudged and he rarely
made it in time for supper? For those

of you who’ll say, he was not yours,
I ask you: Does the earth not belong
to the sky? Does the shore not love

the ocean, even as it crashes upon it?
Does the bluebird not sit on the nest,
even if the egg is speckled instead of pale?

- Irene Latham


  1. ♥️ Wonderful ending! Thanks for sharing it again.

  2. Tab, thank you for following these posts. I'm glad it's coming to an end soon, and grateful for your company. xo


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