Today I saw flame skimmers, the pair flying low over my pond. She, paler than the male, was ovipositing on the surface. She went from shallow to deep, side to side, dipping her ovipositor gently on the water. He, brilliant deep orange, was flying a foot above her, pausing when she paused, flying as her guardian or guide.
After she stopped, to rest among the sedges, he continued several passes, side to side, shallow to deep, to ensure her eggs were safe from my six orange and silver goldfish. Then, he too rested on the tip of a blue pickerel flower. Wings level, abdomen pointing to the sun.
Later I would swim in my pond, hoping to see her eggs, floating in front of me, crystalline globes of promise.
a black phoebe
wags her smart black tail
off the lily-choked surface
of the pond’s island