Playing dead

You’ve done what Nature expected of you
and all you want to do now is carry on.
Find a nice place to lay the eggs,
protected from predators and weather.
A sheltered, aqueous spot.

After that, you can dart around ponds,
or bask in the sun
where your forewings and hindwings
become stained glass. A curiosity
that children point at and admire.

When the headache excuse doesn’t work
(because it doesn’t in dragonflies)
what is she to do?

The dragonfly has to think fast.
Stalked mid-flight,
she falls into the undergrowth
to lie perfectly rigid
to avoid encounters with frisky suitors.

Then, free of them, she resurrects.
Wings glide freely through air
for on a sun-filled day
everything seems possible,
even a good night’s sleep
in the secluded greenery.

* Female dragonflies feign death to avoid stalking males.

Rosanna Licari


Rosanna Licari is an Australian writer. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies such as Softblow 12th Anniversary anthology (Singapore), The Global Poetry anthology (Canada), Eratio (USA), Shearsman (UK), The Best Australian Poems, FourW: New Writing, Small Packages, Island, Australian Poetry Journal, Australian Love Poems, Tincture, and foam:e. In 2015, she won the inaugural Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Poetry Prize for her poem ‘The Wait’. She is the poetry editor of online journal StylusLit.

© 2017