HomeSouthern VoiceDragonfly Dance

Dragonfly Dance

by Terri Kirby Erickson

After days of rain, the clouds lift and a cluster
of dragonflies hovers, then zigs

and zags through the moisture-laden air.
Their wings beat faster than a helicopter’s blades,

and their bodies shine like drops of water in dusk’s
final display of light. It is a brutal dance

of predator and prey, smaller insects so swiftly
devoured by the marauding mob,

we never see them. But in minutes, the dragonfly
feeding frenzy is done

and clouds gather over the house again, like old
men wearing dark jackets—and we

are left with the memory of iridescence, the hum
of a hundred dragonfly wings departing.


North Carolina native Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of five collections of poetry, including her latest book Becoming the Blue Heron (Press 53). Her work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, North Carolina Literary Review, storySouth, The Christian Century, The Sun Magazine, The Writer’s Almanac, Valparaiso Poetry Review and numerous others. Her awards include the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and a Nautilus Silver Book Award.

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