Brian and Yvette Move to Louisiana
Go stand at the bottom of the path,
where dew holds grass clippings fast to the flagstones
and the glare of the sun on the lake makes you squint.
Wait for small, silent incongruities
among the lawn and the rocks and the ferns --
sudden rips in the bright stillness of the morning,
one and then another and another,
like tiny flaws in the physics of this time in this place.
Kneel slowly. Look closely.
In the grass, a flash a yardstick long,
in the shadows by the ferns, a wrinkle.
A oval eye, an abdomen,
two sturdy legs -- a grasshopper, two, three,
as tan as last week's faded clippings.
Now motionless in the sun,
now rocketing too fast to follow,
now motionless again,
but somewhere else,
contemplating something new --
a different vista or where to jump next,
with each leap reaching a new unknown,
a place too far to be certain of,
but springing fearlessly even so.
Grasshopper, porch post, Camp Windsor Hill, Rangeley Lake, Maine, July 2004