Praying Mantis


Corfu, Kerkyra: Mantis Religiosa, Praying Mantis, close encounter (1)

It was in August. Together with my family we were on a trip in the middle of the country. Father was driving the car, letting us know where he was working in the past, because he was a road engineer, proud to have been constructed a few road segments all over the country.
We passed a barrier where a little girl was selling forest fruits. We went further to reach our destination, a hero cemetery were my great uncle was buried in 1944. He was only 21 when he died in the World War Two. My grandfather was always crying taking about him, his brother-in-law, because he was younger than him in those days and stayed home to take care of that soldier’s sister, his wife.
We arrived in the village where the cemetery lies. We went straight from the car to the concrete wall surrounding the graves. It was a hot summer day, the leaves were still green and in the first moment I didn’t realize what it was and I couldn’t believe my eyes – a big praying mantis, the only one I ever saw, was standing on the wall.
The cemetery gates were closed and we couldn’t search for the priest to open them that day. We stood watching over the fence, my grandpa was crying as usual. My eyes were jumping from the insect to the white crosses inside and backwards.
After a moment of recollection we went on our way back.

on a hot day
a praying mantis stands still –
cemetery wall

After more than 10 years my memories about that day made me write this haiku. I had the honor to win a prize “Distinguished Work” in a contest – link.

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Categories: memories | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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