Ann Neuser Lederer

Breaktaking Tips

At noon precisely, they climb
off tops
of roofs for a while
and shift to the shade

Soon is the season of return:
Seventeen-Year Cicada tribes
burrow upwards from
their beds of darkness

Like fetuses, they always sleep
on their right sides

They squirm their way back,
no matter how often
they are repositioned

Opinions: when
to best transplant seedlings
into the real earth

In ultrasound, they coil like snails
their tiny pricks sometimes
misread as thumbs

Wait till it truly warms
All are abuzz with such chat
Even the flies are sniffing

The woodbee grumbles
deeply, lumbering
but harmless

Long in the learning,
tricks for falling asleep:
tune to a background hum,
the faraway train,
and sway of trees

Just before succumbing,
a moment
of conscious choosing

Cascades of faces ensue
Parades of evolving profiles
A bonnet becomes a beard
A seed dissimilar to its final flower

Ann Neuser Lederer’s poems and creative nonfiction are published in her chapbooks Weaning the Babies (Pudding House, 2007), The Undifferentiated (Pudding House, 2003) and Approaching Freeze (Foothills, 2003), in print and online journals such as Wind, Seque, XConnect, Diagram, Brevity, MiPo, Diner, Adirondack Review, Kalliope, and Diner; and in anthologies such as Best of the Net 2007, Bedside Guide (No Tell Motel) and Letters To The World (Red Hen Press). She is employed as a visiting nurse in Kentucky. Samples and links are available on her website.