Poem: A Short LIfe

By: Ruth Z. Deming

dragonfly

I came out of the water one day and became a dragonfly. I didn’t know what to do. Under water they called me a nymph. Like the fish that surrounded me I flashed my gills and thought that’s how it would be. Then the silent hand of God pulled me upwards, out of the water and into the summer sky. My shell dropped off and I hovered with terror over the only home I’d ever known.

Oh, what was I to do in these long afternoons with my slim quiver of a body that bent in every direction… with these long sticky wings that stuttered me across the pond. And the swollen globes of eyes, so big, so round… so full of corners I could glimpse my body whole.

Over the fluttering color of days I learned what a dragonfly is. I hung with the others and flicked, as they did, the insects from the air and dropped my eggs one by one on the skin of pond. Through the muck and breeze the days sped by. I warmed myself in the sun. Winter was what we looked to. Time would push, would lift, would lilt our aching wings back to the waters of our beginning.

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