Stick Insect

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            Stick Insect

Stick insect makes itself resemble stick,
earns its name, stick insect,
phasmatodea, to speak Greek,
more commonly, phasmid,
to lift the lid.
Lives in glassy tank,
lit by green bulb, yellow bulb,
silver bulb, red bulb, blue bulb,
to create exotic, tropic,
jungle light effect,
look inside, stick insect,
hard to detect.
Owned by Hugh Minn,
happy home comes he from bank,
humdrum office tedium,
in sweat wet shirt, askew tie,
to stick insect,
for it respect,
never would eject,
liked it, alien, strange,
not like moth or fly.
To his smart, shiny flat,
friends drop by,
at first, puzzled,
glass tank wonder at,
bright bulb lit,
vacant, empty, seems to be,
apart from twist of twig and leaf,
shallow silver water tray,
little bit of grit.
Some too polite to ask,
retain civil mask,
till he points to stick insect.
Oh, yes, there it is, they say,
with relief. Well, I may.
So like the stick it sits on,
the pattern, colour of that leaf.
What a camouflage, clever chap,
hard for lizard, grasshopper, spider
to detect and trap.
Often with a smile, such words they say,
thankful for view through
Hugh’s magnifying glass,
a rare moment new
they do not will to pass.
Always think stick insect looks nice.
And when Hugh Minn
brought home Laura Leaf,
her hair long, bright with henna,
from theatre date and dinner,
was stick insect that broke the ice,
made her smile, warmed her heart,
more than Hugh did,
grateful was he to stick insect,
his pet phasmid.
Told bachelor pals,
not eagle on arm,
panther on lawn,
but stick insect
would impress and charm,
a pet passion in woman
would wake, inject.
They smiled, shiny eyed,
at his regard for stick insect,
why for it he had respect.
Told them Laura Leaf
first warmed to it, then him,
would be wedding soon,
after, Hawaiian honeymoon,
so was pleased to lay and fill its water tray,
add fresh leaves, give its twigs a trim.

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