“Cicadas.”

insect_musicians_WilHershberger_AnnualCicadaEmergent_SmallWorldSpectaculars

Finally, after nine years
of snouting through darkness
he inches up scarred bark
and cuts loose the yammer of desire:

the piercing one note of a jackhammer,
vibrating like a slow bolt of lightning
splitting the air
and leaving a smell like burnt tar paper.

Now it says Now it says Now
clinging with six clawed legs
and close by, a she like a withered ear,
a shed leaf brown and veined,
shivers in sync and moves closer.

This is it, time is short, death is near, but first,
first, first, first
in the hot sun, searing all day long
in a month that has no name:

this annoying noise of love. This maddening racket.
This – admit it – song.

Poem: Margaret Atwood

Photo: Wil Hershberger, Annual Cicada Emergent
Swamp Cicada, Tibicen chloromea, sheeding
the last juvenile exoskeleton and emerging as an adult. Princeton, New Jersy, USA.


2 Comments on ““Cicadas.””

  1. Anonymous says:

    The ever-brilliant Margaret Attwood — thank you for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person


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