Praying Mantis

poetry

Image by Tao Yuan

He sees my facets

in his quilted eyes

as he tilts
his angled head

this way,

that.
He’s made of stilts.

Is he listening?
He knows my need. My wish
for a listener
drifts
into the space between us.
Closer
I see his mandibles chew the words he’s heard.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, and taught workshops nationally on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam). Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, The MacGuffin, Slant, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, The Nation, and many other publications. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she writes every day.