I complain about the sun, shirt off in a run, the heat
the flab flapping over the clap of feet against concrete.
Stop in a moment of weakness, to catch a breath,
hands on knees and see what appears to be
a pine-cone but thinner, in the shade of a tree,
hovering just above the grass, just off the concrete
spinning on some thread too thin to hold it. How long
has it been here? How old? No way to know.
I straighten and run another lap, complain in my head
about how hard, how unfair, with what I have been burdened.
When I return to the spot, I catch it again, but even
with my eyelids; chrysalis, dinner, some insect catacombed
in a woody sarcophagus. Only then do I stop and watch
the inch by inch of something lifting it, listen hard to catch
the groaning, assume some spider, some insect,
some alien of scale must be straining to lift it.
By my next pass the work is finished. And who knows
what enjoyment’s been won, whether the bug
did it for her nest, her stomach or her children,
whether there was any consciousness. All we know
is what we have left when the sweat and twitching muscles
give in to it is the work, and the rest, and the results of it.