By Sr. Margaret Anne Meyer MMM U.S.A. 02.07.2022
As a child, I was always afraid of these Dragon Flies. Would they bite me? And now, at our Poetry Class, we studied them in full detail. The teacher, rushed to her phone to show us one. Most of us had never seen one, or else we needed a refresher in memory. We were all old enough to remember Lauren Becall, but had forgotten her descriptive dress of turquoise dots.
Could the head of an insect be that grotesque? I could just imagine the beady eyes rotating everywhere. How could it miss me? But I never got bitten.
The most amazing line was that the dragon fly was God’s Justice. God took a long time in the making of it. How could this be when the whole earth, sky and sea took place in a few days? Various theories were put forth, but none seemed satisfactory.
The next morning, I awoke with the meaning flooding my head. My heart throbbed with delight. Yes, Jesus, is the dragon fly! It hit me like a flash of lightening. Never had I understood St Paul’s meaning of Philippians 2:7…” but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave and being born in human likeness, and being found in human form.” To me emptying Himself to become human was not as drastic as to consider Jesus becoming a dragon fly, such an ugly creature and yet that is what Love does. Jesus gives and gives us all we need and died such a horrible tormenting death. Bending his tiny wiry elbows on the Cross. God heard the hum of life squeeze out through His Body and the Resurrection become Light and New Life for us all!
A few days later, I visited a Marist Sister and noticed that she had a painting of a dragon fly in her room. I asked her if I could please take it from the wall and show it to our poetry class. The description in the poem below was spot on with the painting.
By Anne Carson
In the beginning there were days set aside for various tasks.
On the day He was to create justice
God got involved in making a dragonfly
and lost track of time.
It was about two inches long
with turquoise dots all down its back like Lauren Bacall.
God watched it bend its tiny wire elbows
as it set about cleaning the transparent case of its head.
The eye globes mounted on the case
rotated this way and that
as it polished every angle.
Inside the case
which was glassy black like the windows of a downtown bank
God could see the machinery humming
and He watched the hum
travel all the way down turquoise dots to the end of the tail
and breathe off as light.
Its black wings vibrated in and out.
From: “Glass, Irony and God” page 49
What do you think? Do you have an added meaning? This is the beauty of poetry; it continually fascinates the imagination in a way prose can never do.