Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 12
Spring 2015

A Cricket’s Prayer

by Anna DiMartino

Dying cricket
How he sings out
his life.


My daughter hates them,
the crickets that have colonized 
my kitchen since summer,
the crescendo of their chorus 
at night. She begs me to kill them. 
I tell her to be brave.

But while she sleeps, I tiptoe 
through the dark kitchen, 
a flashlight in one hand, 
a slipper in the other, 
and one by one, I slay them.

When I was her age, 15,
I spent a summer in Colorado. 
I remember putting on a sock, 
feeling the tickle of a cricket in the toe. 
Thirty years later and I still shake 
out my socks. I’ve never told her. 

Last night, I massacred six, swept 
their broken bodies and severed legs, 
antennae still twitching, 
into the plastic dustpan. 
And then I saw one swimming 
in the dog’s water bowl and thought
of Steve Kowit’s “Prayer,” the tip 
of his finger lifting midges and gnats 
from his dog’s water bowl, and suddenly, 
I wanted to save this one, 
wanted to hear it sing.


[See also A Prayer, in The Sun (Issue 423, March 2011).]
SHJ Issue 12
Spring 2015

Anna DiMartino

is a writer, artist, educator, and mother of two. She holds a BA in Studio Art from UC Santa Cruz, and is currently pursuing an MFA at Pacific University in Oregon. Anna also works as the Director of a small non-profit preschool in Mission Hills. Her writing has appeared in The Cancer Poetry Project 2; A Year in Ink, Volume 6 (San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology); and Serving House Journal.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury