Monday, November 16, 2015


It was no longer alive when the boy spotted it on the oak tree
        while we walked through the woods in mid-December,

the sky, clear and bright, sharpened itself toward afternoon
        when he stopped us holding his prize above our heads,

our leader explained the long slender body, two pair of veined wings,
        a frozen symmetry of segmented parts motionless in his hand,

a dragonfly, crafted in permanence, distinct and regal, passed among us
        while we whispered praises to its beauty,

for the boy, praise as well, whose sharp eye found the creature
        caught in the season’s first frost before its summer ended,

placed in a plastic bag for safe keeping before we began our walk again
       over green moss where quiet was fashioned to our feet,

marching single file past the salt marsh, silent as we were,
       our eyes focused on a fixed spot in the distance,

we made our way the length of the path to the beginning breathing
       our powdered breath into winter’s thin blue air.

Karen Schulte
Suffolk County, NY
Donated to Harry Chapin Food Bank, Long Island Cares

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