Every evening I must weigh
the power of my obsession to prune my roses
against the possibility of the presence
of a magical Mantis.
At first I approach the endeavor carelessly
like a crow wandering onto the highway
thinking it might taste dinner
before the rig rounds the mountain’s curve.
Then more cautiously,
like a deer whose faun lurks behind the trees
waiting for the all clear to bound across the road.
Perhaps I have not slowed down of my own volition,
but in obeisance to a silent message
that should I care to go more slowly
I will be graced with a graceful underbelly.
Tethered between two branches
like an acrobat.
unsure whether I am friend or foe,
like many people I know.