Among those jillions
of things happening
of which I am
oblivious
is the work
of the dung beetle.
I can mindlessly walk through
weeks, months,
without once
thinking about its awe-inspiring
life and work.
In warm weather,
I get more opportunity
to notice.
Some mornings
as I approach the piles
of alpaca beans
(they kindly always use
the same piles)
I will see
a fresh mound of finely processed
compost.
Grateful,
I leave it undisturbed.
Once in awhile,
I’ll get to see a dung beetle there,
burying a ball of dung.
This morning,
as I was driving into the barn,
I noticed something black
moving across the driveway
and, fortunately, had the presence of mind
to stop the electric cart
before I got too close to it.
It was a black dung beetle,
head down, hind legs deftly,
quickly,
pushing backward
a ball of dung
up, over and across
dry, crunchy grass.
Here is this tiny creature,
diligently going about its business—
unnoticed—
doing the hugely important work
of processing manure,
creating healthy soil
in the scorch of summer.
I had earlier received the report
from Oklahoma Mesonet
that at 8 this morning
the available water
in the soil in our area
for a sixteen-inch plant
is a mere 0.40.
Wondrous little black bug,
you made my day.