Ladybug, Ladybug

Ladybug, Ladybug

The jar sat on the kitchen counter
Surrounded by sippy cups,
Coffee receipts, stray barrettes,
Small dolls and parts of toys,
The paraphernalia of daily life
With two small children.

During breakfast the jar
Was a nauseating distraction from
Bowls of cereal and
Glasses of milk
And cups of coffee,
Fifteen hundred ladybugs
Crawling around inside
Moving up and around each other
As they sought out the food
At the bottom of the jar.

The conversation several days earlier
Between the two six-year-olds
Probably went something like this:

“Do you like ladybugs?”
“I love ladybugs!”
“Good!”

And so the birthday gift emerged,
A jar of ladybugs to be released
Into the garden at dusk
To eat the aphids,
To move along the damp earth
To freedom.

Freedom also for those within
Whose breakfast would now
Involve a less squeamish sight–
A view from the wall of windows
Of the sunrise over the mountains
That surrounded the gardens
Where the ladybugs now moved
And did their work.
Nature as it should be.

© Barbara Flass 2011

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