A moth caterpillar crawls in russet and black
across a cold flagstone. I crouch, my finger
touching the tips of its hairs, but when I kneel
closer it tucks in its face, stills, miniature bottle brush,
as if without movement or face it could cancel itself –
like my daughter age five throwing a handful
of earth into her father’s supper, delighted –
then daunted by his rare anger, sliding behind
the bamboo to hide her flushed face, legs poking out.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Hélène
Demetriades would be pleased to hear them.