Hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Questions to a Grasshopper
By Janisse Ray
Grasshopper, do you have a husband
waiting for you at home, under some sumac
roof? Or a son who yet needs you?
In the grasshopper bank, is your account
low? Is the Times waiting on an article
that you must squeak up out of your armored
head and from what you have deciphered
with those waving wands?
Is the rent do on your leaf, and do you
have to pay somebody for the water that falls free
from the sky? To whom do you owe your food?
Are you paying for grasshopper roads and
grasshopper schools and grasshopper hospitals
and grasshopper police and some kind of insect
library filled with wondrous leafy scrolls?
Do you have a president? Are you asked
to fight, to kill your own? Must you pay for it?
Or are you free, as you seem, to go
bursting through the stalks of dry grasses,
among strawberry leaves and yarrow,
curious and flippant, without direction,
unwary, obligated to nothing?