Robert Siegel, a poet and fiction writer who lives in South Berwick, is noted for his poems about nature’s creatures. Here, he gives voice to a praying mantis.

Mantis

By Robert Siegel

Still as a silk screen I wait, I wait,

invisible, part of the furniture,

for the ambling fly or worm,

the Monarch just alighting,

the beetle dark under its armor.

On the altar of my arms, I offer up

whatever wanders by. In love

I am insatiable, will take

my mate’s head in his electric need

and devour it, swallowing his body

almost as an afterthought;

then, absent-mindedly,

moving stiff and brittle as a tree,

go propagate my kind.