In the days since the coming of the snow
you’ve been around the house performing mimes:
in a doorway, the scooping-up of water
with both hands in a time of drought;
in the kitchen, the supplicant’s stretch
to the back of a truck for a bag of rice;
on your knees under the table, at prayer,
your hair loose and pouring into your palms;

and all the while what you’ve been getting at
is a ladybird, which you’ve saved and saved
and lifted to various disused shelves
and will not put out in the snow.
I play my part in this act of kindness,
turning down the radio and its news
that one species is killing off the rest,
though you no more than I know which this is.

Poem ident - Harlequin

from Take This One to Bed
(Valley Press, October 2016)