Praying mantises climb through
the shrubs in the narrow garden
under the front windows
of my little ground floor flat.
Their green shapes with leaf like wings
vanish among rose bush leaves:
long thin males, bulge bellied females
about to disgorge dozens of eggs
all hatching tiny replicas
with narrow flattened faces
and eyes pinned to the sides
of those long thin heads.
The females seeking seclusion
come through my open windows,
climbing the walls to the ceiling,
swaying in the light with
no leaves to shelter them.
We need all their young mantises.
I catch them and drop them out
the window on to the bushes below
where they sway again with
their front legs in praying stance
before climbing down inside
those leafy green lairs.