The Termite

The termite works its way
out of the clods of dirt
to burst upwards, stretching
its papery wings in the
terrible wetness of that rain
for one glorious dripping night,
then lets its wings fall one by one,
like dried leaves letting go
of their small branch,
leaving the termite to wiggle through
the dark puddles and die,
its great legend already ending,
its turn on the wide stage
over as it disappears under the wet soil
to become food for someone else’s glory,
the earthworm, maybe, or the daffodil.
When did I decide my breathing, walking,
shedding of skin was somehow
more spectacular than
the soaring and falling
of the courageous termite?

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