Ode To Flight

Eight-legged Beast stalks the rocky wilderness,
Leveraging his weight, heaving his bulk,
Hunting casually, no rush, no urgency,
Air feels warm, soft, calm.
He climbs the highest boulder in the valley,
All eight eyes scanning far and wide,
He waits, he is master, he is alpha.

Dros Ophila lands near the grass and sand,
Steps lively, gingerly, daintily,
She's out for vegies -- tubes and leaves,
Avoiding nooks and crannies,
Dark places, shadows;
Ever-alert, yet at ease,
Her style -- she is Dros.

Eight-legged Beast grows impatient,
Food! he roars, come here to me now!
His body-hairs twitch with anticipation,
His mandibled-mouth waters expectantly,
Teeth slide to and fro,
Hungry eyes sift details upon details.

Dros skips gently from sand-pebble to sand-pebble;
Squirming with delight at the air on her wings,
The smell of dry dirt and fresh, spring clover,
Her thoughts drift to musing of her beau.
Suddenly, near the top of the boulder she climbs,
A monstrous, gnarled, horrid foot,
And above, dripping saliva from fangs no god would ever dream.

A moment frozen, a space surreal and long ago,
Eight-legged Beast feels a change in air;
Dros swallows thickly, knees wobbling,
She holds her breath.
All eyes of the Beast fall on the little one,
Feet scraping stone he shifts her way,
Mandibles opening,
Stench, moist and dead,
He reaches.

Faster than any grasshopper,
Or cricket,
Or flea, or frog, or --
Just about anything,
Dros rockets towards the sun,
Fear drained in the rush of wind,
On gossamer wings,
Wings of strength, wings of beauty,
Wings of Life!

O' mighty wings,
I love thee.


[Based on eyewitness testamony and subsequent separate inteviews with the subjects involved.
They chose to remain anonymous. Dros, in other words, is not her real name.]