A ladybug circumnavigates the rim of a glass house for dead insects — longhorns, scarabs, a stag beetle, a rhinoceros beetle, each at least as big as a finger, if not a fat thumb, & shiny as gemstones. The ladybug is a small red capsule: potent medicine. Her dogged way of walking suggests a certain brittleness, a gift for sudden, unprovoked rage. She goes around the case once, twice, then doubles back and tries it counter-clockwise. The wooden rim is wide enough for two ladybugs to pass each other without touching, as sometimes happens, though not this particular afternoon. She’s alone. Outside, it’s October in all the colors of her tribe. She raises her elytra & lifts off on wings veined like translucent leaves, which carry her up the ceiling as if trying to fly back to their crystal tree.
I live in an Appalachian hollow in the Juniata watershed of central Pennsylvania, and spend a great deal of time walking in the woods. Here’s a bio. All of my writing here is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For attribution in printed material, my name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact me for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).