Between her forefinger and thumb
she holds all four delicate wings
of the dragonfly.
The insect faces the camera,
each segment of its head discernible:
the frons, the mandible, the labium.

When the day is just above warm,
the cloud cover almost none,
she dons waders and slips
into wetlands, her step
so smooth ponds sigh
but never move,

the way she ate ice cream,
as a girl. The rest of us
finished, she planed each taste
from the scoop with her spoon,
slid it between her lips.

Or earlier when I unfolded
a drawing from school. Crayon
on oversized newsprint—a girl,
a staff, a lamb—when I grow up,
I will be a shepherd.

Each year they migrate sooner,
each year fly farther north.
Today she catalogs fifty,
but this one, interrupted while
sluicing eggs onto reed,
completes her day.
She looks long into the elegant face,
claims a piece of its beauty for herself,
sends the dragonfly on its way.