A tiny ladybug — the smallest, I’m sure, I’ve ever seen — the eraser on the end of a pencil would be a roomy perch for five or six of her size, not much bigger than the spots on an adult — somehow got inside my shirt. I was working outside, watering a few things, pulling a few weeds, and so on — didn’t brush up against anything — made it rain on the strawberries — thought heaven-scented waterfall thoughts — wet, shaded stones from the river nearby — long dashes, eyelashes, a woodnymph’s cry — undid my shirt in the house and out she tumbled — I helped her outside, admiring how durable she was as she moved off unfazed toward the big potted jade plant on our front step.
I’m beginning to think
like this jade plant in the mist
a jeweled leaf for each
(The four-line poem “Traveler,” from Songs and Letters, November 16, 2008)