BellaOnline Literary Review
Bearded Iris by Lisa Shea


Grasshopper Cages

Lee Evans


Buttercups, dandelions,
Wild strawberries, four leaf clovers:
You, straining to memorize
The circuits of the bumble bee—
Trying to make a child secure
By teaching him your boundaries.

He sprawls on the lawn
That you mow so religiously—
Unappreciative of your toil,
Nor inheriting your anxiety.
He lives in the world from which you flee.
He inhales the honeysuckle where
The hummingbirds hover
And the mantis rubs its hands in prayer.


Plantains are that child’s toys.
He calls them “grasshopper cages.”
Its fun to pluck one by the stem,
And wrap it around its own neck
So as to form a noose,
Then pull it back with a snap:
Off leaps its head, like a locust
Bounding o’er the lea!

No self-respecting grasshopper
Is caged by bars like these,
Or fooled by such a hangman.
He grazes in the grass,
Gazing at no particular thing
With his compound hexagonal eyes—
Until the plantain snaps,
And he leaps, buzzing off
Into fields of endless Summer,
Far away from foolish things!

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