They kept showing up, for days,
dead on the windowsill,
and for days I did nothing about the ladybugs
except to ask if their entering the house
unnoticed and dying before I saw them
Thinking so was easy.
They symbolized birth and death,
change and rebirth.
Hayan Charara is the author of three poetry collections: Something Sinister (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2016), The Sadness of Others (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006), which was nominated for the National Book Award, and The Alchemist’s Diary (Hanging Loose Press, 2001). A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he is the editor of Inclined to Speak (University of Arkansas, 2008), an anthology of contemporary Arab American poetry. He teaches at the University of Houston in Texas, where he lives.