My Inner Voice Speaks to Me in Mid-October
“Listen, dear one,” it whispers.
“You only think you have
forgotten the impossible.
Go now, to that marsh beyond
Fresh Pond and consider how the red
burgeons into crimson.
Go see how it's been preparing
forever for today. Notice the stirring,
silent beauty of bog;
watch how summer lingers at the door.
Get there as the heron makes its lacy landing
and consider, then, the possibility
that for ten thousand years, that sleek,
white whisper of bird has been waiting for you
to arrive — so it could land just like that,
Wrestling the Dragon
Earlier today I wrestled with a dragonfly
for what felt like hours, and God —
it was tough going; I almost lost
him a couple of times.
Of course he'd gotten caught up
in Mrs. Way-Too-Busy's web,
as if the drying carcasses
of five black flies and two white moths
weren't enough, she'd plucked
his sleek, pulsing machinery from the air,
the iridescent scales, miniscule
himself a finely-tuned miracle.
He was very much alive when I snatched
him back from the silk slaughterhouse
although you-know-who had nearly completed
the delicate sewing together of his wings —
not right to left but upper to lower —
causing him, upon trying to take flight,
to fall over promptly in his back.
You never saw such a thing
as I did this morning —
the tawny, fierce fighter — mythological
biplane falling flat on his back
like a Vaudeville act, over and over again.
Eventually he tired and collapsed,
breathless as any dragonfly ever was,
and in his exhaustion, accepted my help,
though it almost killed him. The web
was nearly as invisible as it was intricate —
too delicate for tweezers so I got the thinnest pin
I could find, and gently, oh praise Jesus,
somehow managed to cut the web, and only
the web, in all the right places, and eventually
freed not just one, but both sets of wings,
and I don't know if you've ever seen
a dragonfly cock his head before,
but I swear to you he did — in complete
surprise — those jet black busy eyes
looked at his wings, then at me,
then like that, he was gone, and for a second
I almost didn't believe it had happened
except for the straight pin in my left hand,
laced with gossamer.