A Praying Mantis by Maryanne Sanders

July 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

A Praying Mantis

at the foot of my bed
and the room is on fire
like Moscow summers.
Tall, naked, and tangled with hair
cobweb strangled like spider egg sacks,
he stands with hands touching, tapping,
counting my offenses with fingertips,
long and pointed quills
of celestial justice oozing.
His sermon is booming
and stretched like a jet
through sound.
I’m pushed by salvation,
wind whistles my ears
like low sugar.
His wings are vibrating
the hum of seven saints
but his eyes are blue and gurgling,
a stream beneath ice and red sea.
Spine a stressed sapling.
There’s no fruit to grow,
but the bees
still return in season
for flowers
when it will rain for forty nights
and forty more
forever drenched  in sacrament,
Eucharist loaf.

He’s not the St. Michael of my girlhood
as he kneels over my bed,
careful not to graze his haloed head
on the ceiling fan.


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