For reasons they don’t understand
the puddle by the gate
never dries up and the frogs 
knee-deep all through the summer
Hetty likes to squat
tiny bottom almost in the water
watching the squiggle
of life, silent as first light.

In a bucket in the laundry
Hetty is feeding caterpillars.
Nat says it’s hard to tell 
her fingers from the critters
but Hetty’s lips are thick
with peanut butter and she
pops a toast crust into
the bucket for good measure
silent as first light.

Nat says she’ll be an
entomologist one day
as they watch the caterpillars
roll themselves into brown casings
until the bucket is still.
Silent as first light.

Hetty moves between
the knee-deep frogs with
their offspring like black commas;
and the quiet, brown cocoons
peanut butter sandwich
in her caterpillar fingers.
Silent as first light.

When the butterflies
winkle out, drying gracefully
on orange tree twigs,  
Nat says, “How’s that, Het?” 
with a huge smile.   But Hetty
just imitates the silent fluttering
with her long eyelashes.
Her brown eyes glint
with a thousand future miracles
silent as first light.


Written for Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt (22.3.22) Use the phrase “for reasons they don’t understand” in a poem

13 thoughts on “Hetty

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