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The Praying Mantis
by Fred Miller




Pray, dear mantis, are your limbs bent in contrition?

Perhaps this is just a sign or a sin of omission.


When I see you still as a statue, could you be praying,

or maybe you’re a mom who’s paused for egg laying?


Most eyes quite deceived would swear they see a mirage.

Arms tucked tight, you seem so invisible; what camouflage!


The neat way your verdant color blends in so well.

Are you silent in thought or just waiting? So hard to tell.


Why, so motionless you are, it’s a wonder you don’t tan.

Is a tasty tidbit part of your future plan?


If your prey could see you, I’d bet they’d stop and shout,

“Oops, a predator straight ahead. Better take a new route.”


Ah, could that be a bug lunch approaching on wing?

Ah, yes! Once you are sated can I expect you to sing?


No? Perhaps you could hop on my hand in a spritely dance.

For you, I’ll whistle a new tune and watch you prance.


In awe, I see you twist about in contortions.

No way on this earth could I replicate those distortions.


Each time I try, my limbs end up in kinky knots.

Someone, please help me unwind; I’ve tried, I’ve tried lots and lots.


The ancients were quite sure you had miraculous powers.

Well, all I can see is you hiding in flowers.


No doubt bored with my wonder, you’re off in a leap.

Your sleek proportions fill a memory I’ll always keep.



a line, (a blue one)


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