Two Prose Poems
Daryl Scroggins

Many Mansions

My garden: an economy not beholden to me. Small creatures thriving; everything coaxed from the ground for their ends. Weeds pulled, and thoughts.

A large wasp, sphecius speciousus, motors by, lugging a cicada -- paralyzed cargo almost twice as large as its ferryer. How can this be? Maybe the cicada's own wings -- partly feathered, stiff -- add lift, aiding in its delivery to an alien nest. Already the wasp's egg is housed in flesh between green plating, and the host, its final shriek still present in the stilled attention of birds, is now a mute slave to nurture.

Above me, high contrails divide blue realms. Silver slivers in their bubbles of speed. I turn soil with a spade, sifting root threads and snail spirals -- in this land that looks for trouble as if backed by all the gods. Nature's Chinese box: a bald eagle flies with insect-fed fish, head to wind. And from it -- the image of a hawk, on its way to manifest destiny.


All I have loved reduced to a view on a bridge, its girders made of better metal, not subject to sorrow. Pain lends some moments momentum within pause; moment also a word for point of stress in structure. The bridge oblivious to the number of people who have crossed it, whatever the color of their hair. All in reduction, as in a sauce -- some flavors heavier for loss of other elements to the air. The swath of sky between bridge and water only fixed by perspective.

Feet just off the edge, and there -- the sun, about to touch.