Thursday, February 10, 2011


by E. Wong

On the day that the cottony clouds in the sky
were actually made of cotton, I saw a grasshopper
looking up, not at me, but to his god above,
perhaps my God, too, there, in the city’s final
green field, staring at the heavens in a regal
posture, and at that moment I thought he was
not the usual crickety creature—my prey—
but a mantis, that bizarre insect bestowed
with the licence for supplication, and so
I told him without hesitation, Hey, Mister,
would you be so kind and pray for me?

‘And what would you like me to pray about,
dear lady?’ the little insect enquired in his ancient
voice. I would certainly hope that it rains today,
so that this heaviness upon me may be washed
away. He shook his tiny head, ‘it cannot be prayed
for as today the clouds are made of cotton.’
He said god, or God, has not yet invented
cotton rain. But it is not a lovely day, I retorted,
despite all those cottony clouds above. I pleaded:

I need rain! ‘It cannot be done,’ the old grasshopper
insisted. ‘It’s a beautiful day, just as when you first
hopped past these grasslands a hundred years ago.’
I started to cry, but without tears, as the sun
was too bright and intimidating in the sky.
Then in my frail frog voice: Can you pray then
on my behalf for the sun to bleed today so the world
can bathe in red with me? But the insect made

no further rebuttal; instead, he chewed on the green
and turned his back towards me, jointed. I jumped off
in defeat towards the core of the city, broken.
But in my deep frog hunger, I leaped back to eat
the insect’s head. But the old praying imposter
had hopped away before I could catch him.


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