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Here you will find the writings of the poet Theodore Waterfield

Death of the Mantis

Rain, rain, inconsolable rain.
“Will the mantis be all right?” asked Michael.
I said, “Yes, Michael, she will find a leaf.
The garden is her home.”
But I was not sure.
I saw the mantis as fragile,
for all her dignity.
Dainty, for all her strength.
How do such beautiful beings survive?
The record storm passed.
Two days of water.
Did she get something to eat? I thought.
As if she were a child.
Jackie looked for her after school.
He told me she was not there,
where we saw her.
“Keep looking Jack. We’ll see her.” I said.

And I went out and looked.
She was not there.
She blended into this world so well,
I thought,
among begonia and ferns.
I’ll look later.
Maybe somewhere else.
And then,
this morning,
by the drive,
I saw a green twig.
A wing.
No, I said.
No.

Then lifted her to my eyes.
I folded the errant wing against her.
I will put you in a box of crystal,
I murmured.
I will put you back,
to let the sun be on you.
To tell the storm
I found you and we are undefeated.
Then I returned to the house,
holding her gently.
I had something to do,
for me, for Michael, and Jack
and her.

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