This poem is taken from Stand 227, 18(3) September - November 2020.

Mary Michaels Two Tales

At four in the afternoon, in the back yard, a couple of ants come moving across the flags as if they don’t know where they’re going. Not the usual slender articulated creatures but large and tubular. A sudden silver flash on one of these bodies opens out as whitish wings, randomly flapping, so the bearer falls over, like a bowler-hatted character in a silent film. But now there’s one in the air and then another. We try to bat them away from our faces.

Swarming mayflies, carpets of crabs, insects that impose their eggs on other creatures, the larvae breaking out and burrowing where the warmth of a breathing animal is sensed. Worms that live seven years in the body, on a long migration, causing pain as they cross from the right eye to the left.

A red tartan dress
big checks in taffeta material

the feel of the fabric
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