Bees, surely. Definitely
locusts. Briefly, even
mayflies with their devil tails
and cracked glass wings.
In multitudes, they swarm,
But the pin spots of gnats
illuminated by evening light
as it slips off the edge of the world,
these my grandmother
called clouds. Sometimes,
they’d hover as fog
over the stream that crawled
past our house in summer.
Even the shade of buckeye,
the shadow of sycamore and maple
was cool over that dilly-dallying water.
Sometimes, I closed my eyes
and ran through them.
They danced over the yard
as though they were summoning
an evening dew, which sparkled
spider webs to keep us all
from getting trapped. A skinny child,
my grandfather said I’d be carried off
by the wind. I wondered
where such tiny things shelter
during a storm. They could be windswept
like me, dragged through branches
and leaves, blown off course
to an unfamiliar land where clouds tumble
and tangle and scrape the tops of mountains.
But here in the valley, these creatures, barely
substantial enough to be part of this world,
catch strands of light on their wings,
cumulus together without a care
for the restless air, nor my lonely form,
which passes right through.