Hawker

By Anne Kenny

It’s early morning when I find it, lifeless
on a window-ledge. The rattle of its flight
silent now. Devil’s darning needle, horse-stinger,
ear-cutter.
It could not escape this name-calling –

or a warm house on a humid night. I take
fragile remains, place on paper to examine
this ancient machine. Intricate eyes like iridescent
baubles are engineered to perfection. Fixings

of delicate wings to thorax, enable aerobatic flight,
hairpin turns, a summer hovering above garden ponds.
I’ve no desire to preserve and pin this specimen,
with its abdomen of sap green and cyan, but still

I capture it though a lens, marvel at the survival
of its species, amid news of deaths of our own.

Note: Dragonflies were in their present form 250 million years ago, during the Jurassic period.

Anne Kenny: During the pandemic, like many others, I’ve found being outside in nature to be soothing and therapeutic. I’ve felt fortunate to have a garden and to live in a small village in Kent. When writing I’ve found myself beginning poems which reflect my intense appreciation of the natural world. At some point in my poems, the present realities of life with coronavirus slip in.

I was grateful to have found a dead dragonfly in my house as I was absorbed for some time by its beauty and by the fact that as a species they have survived for so long.

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