The slender checkered beetle, pale
earth brown, sallies forth from among 
the bark canals of the oak, the eaten mar 
of the woody gall left dying.  Her spiny 
yellow hairs sparkle in the summer sun.

Lacewings, locust, and laurel loosen
cocoon, carapace, and bud, shimmy out
and pause, airing wings expanding like rumpled
petals, spreading petals opening like slatted 
wings, as they pass into the new world.

Toe by toe the children of the sun depart 
from the east out of living fire to become
spikes, glumes, anthers, sheaves, broad
montane grassland, flowing steppe, 
savannah, veld, wild horse pampas. 

The fiddler crab with his royal blue 
spot emerges beside the great charging 
dawn of the morning sea, scuttles sideways 
out of the drenched sands and savory 
mud bank of the tidal marsh.

Now echoes in cougar lairs, snake crannies,
coon burrows, the hillside den of gray fox.  
Moonrat's  nose appears from the crevice 
in the bluff, sniffing fish and wormy mud.  
Turtle's beak shows at shell's edge first.
Claws and feet extend directly.
The smooth, golden-green swale 
of the trout swivels upward, breaks 
through the boundaries of sky 
with its mouth wide open gulping day.

After parting the flap, after gripping 
the knob, after lifting the latch, after kicking 
the door until the hinges crack and fail 
and the hindrance falls, then the jaunt, 
the saunter, the sprint, the lope, the totter, 
ramble and meander, the traipse and slink,
the shamble, shuffle, gallop and glide, 
the push against the beyond begins.

Copyright © 2014 by Pattiann Rogers. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 20, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.