for Lisa Slater
I was gripped with manuscript panic, so I ventured into the backyard for perspective and sunlight. Three paces from the door and a giant bug swooped. It was five metres across, prehistoric, all wings and fang, ant-beetle-wasp. I was caught between pincers, hung upside-down. My husband stood on the stoop, concerned. Our seven-year-old waved, eyeing off the antennas and bulbous eyes, before his father ushered him inside for trombone practice and bath time. I stayed out there, suspended above the grass. Days passed. Weeks. The neighbour’s dog finally shut up and when everything was quiet, the fierce grip around my torso relaxed and I toppled to the ground.