Wear Shoes

Wear Shoes

A parched summer yielded brown grass and weeds,
shrouded in last year’s dead and decomposed leaves.
What jostles those grass blades so awkwardly?
No wind creates such random moves.

I lean in to take a closer look.
Inch long beetles, banded orange and black
scurry frenetically as honeybees
on honeycomb. But they are not on honeycomb.

A white footed mouse is dead.
It lies on its back, rear haunches hidden below the grass.
No, wait, it moves, but not with life.
The deceased is now a specter.

The body animated with the invasion of beetles,
its chest moves with Frankenstein breaths.
The head, neck, and shoulders shift and sway in a slow dance.
A dance of death, a waltz perhaps.

These effective puppeteers have captured my audience and disdain.
They share the stage with house flies,
their squirming maggot children playing peek-a-boo
behind useless teeth in a gaping mouth.

Tiny white mites are players as well, adorning the beetles as so much
costume jewelry. Slender shrunken black flies with elongated
opaque wings, scale the brown grass blades,
impatient spectators awaiting their turn.

An impromptu stroll while barefoot brought this macabre
scene to light, yet a few steps left or right, I would have missed the show.
My fascination would have ended abruptly I know,
had I stepped upon their seedy castelet. 

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