Beneath the Carob tree

By Ana Reisens

The ants have begun exploring my skin,
but this is a small price to pay for everything
my hands have taken from them. Sometimes

I wish I could ask the grasshopper what happens
when she leaps without knowing where she will land.
What geography is hidden in the wind? 

Now an ant has reached my knee. 
How vast my freckles must seem to the ant.
How sacred the Carob must be to the beetle.

Maybe one day there will be an insect that can speak,
a jewel-eyed priest to fly between the strands
of sky and teach us the litany of bees.

Nearby the spider dangles between her silver threads
as if to say Even I sometimes tire of weaving
There is a silken strength in waiting. 

Meanwhile the ant keeps reaching. I allow it to crawl
from my finger to a branch. Let it follow the beetle.
Who knows what sweet secrets they may come to keep. 

Across the meadow a butterfly is blessing
the yellow petals of the buttercups. How delightful
the blossoms of light must be to the butterfly. 

I’ve come to believe that happiness is a caterpillar
with wings. Sometimes, when I’m very still,
it comes to land in my upturned hand.

Ana Reisens

“I wrote this poem as I sat on a local hillside beneath a wizened Carob tree. It was a moment of suspended, breathless presence as I witnessed the tiny magics of the natural world. Having this poem selected for the Dog Daze Poetry Contest was tremendously meaningful to me because it brought back the beauty of that moment and everything it represented. I’m so grateful to the editors at The Blue Earth Review for all they do to allow glimpses like this to be shared.”

Ana Reisens is an emerging poet and writer. You can find her poetry in The Bombay Literary MagazineThe Sunlight Press, and forthcoming in Channel Magazine, among other places. She was born in the Midwest but now lives in Spain, where she enjoys listening to trees and watching the ants carry away the crumbs of the day.

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