Come, consider the grasshoppers.

Descend into the old preacher’s basement,
Walk past the shelves of books and canned goods
To the window, and the window well:
The fire escape, become the death trap
              Of the grasshoppers.

                            See, another falls,
                            Joins the mass grave of his relatives.
                           This one’s lost half a leg. Watch him
                            Fight off the ants come for the rest,
                            Break free, begin the futile climb,
                                          Looking for grips in the metal wall.

                                                        His wings? Useless here.
                                                        He reaches, grabs, slides, repeats...
                                                        He reaches, grabs, slides—hits the ground—
                                                        Tries again, ignoring the
                                                        Omen of cousins’

                                          Bodies. Does he know? Is this courage?
                            Is this folly? How many can
                            You count? How many brothers, how
                            Many attempts, how many hours
                            Spent waiting to die? Outside the old
                            Preacher’s basement, see

              The sermon you didn’t
Want to hear. Meditate on hollow
Insect armor littering the ground,
See this field of battles lost to time...
Take the time. Do you see a warning here?

Come, consider the grasshoppers.

(Spring 2015)