An iridescent cherry-colored wanderer
lingered on the bedroom windowsill.
She displayed pepper sprinkle spots and feasted
on the fruit flies that stowed away
with the market's jade pears. The lady beetle crawled
across the sill, climbing over last winter's neglected
cobwebs. (So many more important things
to do than whisk webs from windows.)
She might have been protected here,
but I let her crawl onto my pale palm
and cupped the other on top to keep her safe.
I opened the window. The quarry across the canyon
spewed forth echoing dust clouds. A rare summer
afternoon breeze sent her sailing away.
Finally, a thought to clean the windowsills.
One of those grim winter days, rain pummels
so fiercely that I must pull on thick-soled boots
with three inch heels to muck out the street drains
so my patio will not turn to swampland.
(I fear the day I find the murky waters
with filthy bits of green lawn have crept
under the patio doors and the precious books
on bottommost shelves have become bloated
and make a depressing sucking noise when I try
to open them for the last time.)
I drew the curtains, pulled the blinds—
I hardly ever do. I found a delicate,
dull orange, peppered shell.
Crimson lady, the skies are weeping.