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This poem is taken from PN Review 198, Volume 37 Number 4, February - March 2011.

Four Poems Dawn Wood
Hall of Celestial Harmony

It has careered in from the window
and now jumps from the back of a chair
to the teapot, then to a Qingdao beer bottle.
The praying mantis grooms itself
the way a cat does, stroking
its triangular head with a fringed limb.
It prays, not because it grovels,
but the forelegs in repose are bent ninety degrees
to the heavens, meditatively
beckoning down blessings. We raise
a second bottle for our toast - cheers!

here's to us and the mantis amongst us -
may his prayers go answered before him,
whatever is food and drink for him,
may he lose himself in the plenteousness
...


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