Here's a poem from Amy Gerstler's terrific new book DEAREST CREATURE, a total pleasure for Christmas Eve. Not exactly in the holiday spirit, but, like this whole book, adventurous, funny, and completely unexpected. The long poem called "Mrs. Monster Pens Her Memoirs" is brilliant.
ADVICE FROM A CATERPILLAR
Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt
again. Self-reinvention is everything.
Spin many nests. Cultivate stinging
bristles. Don't get sentimental
about your discarded skins. Grow
quickly. Develop a yen for nettles.
Alternate crumpling and climbing. Rely
on your antennae. Sequester poisons
in your body for use at a later date.
When threatened, emit foul odors
in self-defense. Behave cryptically
to confuse predators: change colors, spit,
or feign death. If all else fails, taste terrible.