praying mantis

A mantis clings upside-down to a porch column. I wave a mosquito in its direction, and it turns its head to watch the ungainly craft fly by.

Parallel bands—old contrails—score the northeast sky. In the front garden, I spot a mantis egg case sparkling high in the witch hazel.

Something glitters on a tansy stalk next to the porch: the hard foam surface of a praying mantis egg case. A tiny spider dangles alongside.

A large praying mantis at the edge of the porch, near where I sit, turns its head to watch me with unblinking, space-alien eyes.