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Thinking of mortal combat



‘COMBAT’ reads the label

‘KILLS ALL’ underneath

An innocent plastic square 

under an immovable plastic dome.


It rests on a window sill,

the window double paned.

Outside on the ledge a peculiar bug.

Smaller than an ant, a miniature fly.

A baby maybe.

Hobbles across the sill, stops.

Tries out its wings

Wobbles again not far,

curls into a ball, gives up.

Nearby another insect lies dead.

Hardly a bug at all anymore.

Six legs point skyward

Caught in the line of COMBAT!

This is how we kill ourselves

And other things trying to live.

Mary Lansing is a member of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.