I saw a grasshopper today for the first time
since I was a kid;
I was surprised as I hadn’t
ever given them another
thought in all that time;
I gave it its space, wary as I am
today of all insects.
We took them for granted back then,
seeing who could catch the most,
some bothered more than others by
the uncomfortable feeling their thrashing legs
and the bump their heads made in the palms of our hands,
though none would ever admit it.
Still jumping, trying to make their escape
as we cradled their taut bodies carefully
to finally put them in mason jars
(along with some grass, of course),
poking holes in the top of the jar lid
to let them breathe.
We watched them jump for a time
and joked about eating chocolate covered ones,
the coolness and smell of the grass,
the act of capturing them,
part of the woven fabric
of our summers.
I don’t remember if we left them to die
when we grew bored,
I’d like to think I didn’t but
I see so few today
I can’t help but think I did,
as I went on to become a man.
©Tom Evans, 2016