Yesterday, rain kept people from the pocket park
Where I abide. But then the sun came out
And my perambulations on cement near his feet
Caught the attention of a tall old man who,
Testing a green wooden bench to find if it was dry,
Had established himself to watch pigeons wheel,
Swoop, rise, and wheel again in sky now blue.
Sunlight highlighted my head’s thin yellow marking.
He thought it a slipped halo. Leaning forward to drink in
My insectness, glad few other humans were yet about,
He wondered: was I rare? An ant? (I look a little
Like a beetle). He had never witnessed a creature like me.
He saw the escutcheon, also gold, which decorates my thorax.
But my head marking impressed him more – so thin and yellow!
Rising, stretching his body, he stooped to point his cap’s visor
To scoop me onto it. I resisted. We played this game awhile,
Then I gave in and stepped aboard. Lifting me close to his eyes,
Not having a straw at hand he did not nudge me over. (My stomach
Remains a mystery to him). And then he stooped
To gently let me off. I perambulated again. Now
He has walked away from my insect mind. But I remain in his.
Jonathan Bracker has had poems in Poetry Northwest, The New Yorker, RavensPerch and other periodicals; has had seven chapbooks or books of poetry published; and has edited the selected poems of Christopher Morley, and edited a book of prose selections from the novels of Thomas Hardy arranged as verse.