The Mantis

There’s a praying mantis on the curtain.
Triangular head, bulging eyes —
order Mantodea.
But I’ve seen lights in the sky.
Could this creature be alien
reporting back to a mothership
through its dental-floss thin antennae?
No, it’s an insect,
geared to pounce on whatever insect
buzzes into its range.
So why is it looking in my direction?
Never have my details felt so vulnerable.
But look at how it rocks from side to side.
Normal motion for its kind, I assure you.
And, besides, if it was my DNA it’s probing,
surely it would have clung to my chair,
even the back of my neck,
and not those floral drapes.
No, it’s a praying mantis all right.
Okay, so maybe an alien interior decorator.


John Grey
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.