Cicadas are peculiar bugs
Though born on leafy shoots
They crawl down to the underground
And suck upon tree roots.
For years they wriggle under dirt
Within their nymph asylum
And grow, if they escape the mole,
By simply sucking xylem.
They grow and molt and molt and grow
Until a future summer brings
A strange thing underneath their shells-
Two crumply, folded wings!
And even tiny bug brains know
No one can fly through dirt
And so they crawl towards daylight
Back up the bark to flirt.
Up in the trees, the nymphs cling tight
To the first twig they select;
A slot forms in each carapace and -
Out pops a winged, jade-green insect.
On branch of pine they perch unseen
Where boy-bugs play their tambourines
Hoping to attract the flying queens
For only pairs can pass on genes.
I hear their din and shake my head,
Is the chorus insects, or tinnitus?
They have not loved for two long years
But each bug knows what tonight is!
August 28, 2018