A Prayer for the Prayer
by Martin Elster
While straightening the tail end of October,
I step across my rug
of turf and see a bug
as slender as a drinking straw, a sober
pea-green, and unassuming as a nun.
Perhaps she is entreating
the god who has been heating
her body the whole summer not to run
away and strip the trees too rapidly
and leave her in a blizzard.
Now, basking like a lizard,
she doesn’t try to flee but studies me
with eyes that nearly dwarf her swivel-head.
I stroke her back. She races
away. Yet what she faces
is not my finger but the milky spread
that, by and by, will glaciate this lawn.
She stops as if she’s caught
my thought. Now on this plot
she’ll ambush flies till she and they are gone.
When will the mandibles of winter take
her spirit like some prey?
Who knows? But now, today,
she’ll revel in the sun—until I rake.