Your Garden and the Praying Mantis

Sara Dallmayr

For Rick


The abdomen of an adult mantis

Is covered with wings. One scalding


Afternoon you dripped under a black

Shirt and told me how a mantis nods 


Its wings in flight at you, in the air

A hint of green, rusted blades.


The moon tilts, a succession of 

Saucers aloft in an expanse of blue.


Dark overgrown summer, thick

With undertow, rooms so deep


Iridescent fathoms which brood

Before a storm, bow to the thunder


Heads, an engine throttle. In the arch

Over the tulips where the fireworks


Grew restless and flew into the garage,

As if we were a rogue target. Such are


The days unwinding anymore, we forget

How to plan, and unfold our shirts that is


If we remembered to fold them while they

Were still warm. The paramedics took hours.


You took time off the wall and played 

With its hands, shook its face. Time said 


Nothing. The scaffold and the cautious

Creeping gnomes, a swarm of daffodils


Scrape the side of the garage. You spoke 

Of your own death long ago, unafraid


In the room with ripples on the ceiling,

An echo of aging paint and restless wings.

Sara Dallmayr is originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She attended Western Michigan University and received a BA in English/creative writing/poetry. Her work has been published in The Esthetic Apostle, Texas Literary Review, The Tiny Seed Literary Journal, The Write Launch, and Glowworm. Dallmayr currently live in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband and three cats. She works for the post office as a rural carrier and sometimes prefers to slip into a dimension more comfortable.

©2018 HighShelfPress. 

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