Seventeen Year Cicadas: 2004


We can’t avoid them when they come

A plague, some say

of ugly bugs and deafening noise.

They dive-bomb on our picnics, die

On patios and walks

  in piles of crunching wings.

Their fleeting lives remind us of the fleetingness of ours.


But as for me, I love their treetop wedding song

They harmonize and whistle: Wowwowwowwowwow

I love to see their blunderbussy bodies whirligig

on lacy wings, like fledgling angels practicing for heaven

They celebrate their lives in sussurating song,

.     Breeding and dying, they promise a return

Mysterious, predictable, in seventeen years.


Who knows where I will be, or on what side of life

the next time they are here.


I’m glad I have not missed them this time.