Rescue mission

December morning inside my window
I catch orange reflection -- ladybugs

piled on more ladybugs, all, asleep.
I study markings -- black circles

darkened by frost -- think I see
what causes them to clump like this.

They must know group warmth
means survival and, so, will starve

all winter -- shudder collectively
as snow mounds high outside.

Glass shuts out a bit of cold,
brightens hope, permits belief

they might endure. I tug one loose,
scoop her to a houseplant leaf,

return, rescue more -- finally breathe.
At sundown, only tiny shadows freeze.

Timothy Pilgrim