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'Daphne the Orchid Mantis'

She does it exceptionally well.

She’ll do it again: in time,

she’ll fledge, and bend;

she will not move for hours on end.

 

Can she embody patience

if she cannot feel impatience?

Can she embody cruelty

 

(she eats the cricket live,

starting with its head)

 

if she cannot feel kindness?

 

If the trees had no tops

she would keep climbing.

 

Moulting is an art,

like everything else.

 

 

 

by Kelley Swain, from Guests of Time (£24.99)

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