Saturday, July 22, 2006


I wrote the following piece six summers ago. I was reminded of it when I heard the first cicada of the summer wail as I rested during a long bike ride at Southwestway Park earlier in the week.

Cicadas wind up and wail
in surreally uneven rhythms,
in stereo, no, Surroundsound.
Screeching bellows rise and fall,
come and go, here and there
as a summer dusk descends.

My son points out seven empty shells
of cicadas still clinging to a branch
on Bill’s maple tree next door.
The creatures’ backs are ripped open
and whatever had been inside is free.

I touch a cicada shell and it drops
from the branch to the grass below.
Looking down, I cannot find it;
it is not only empty, but now as invisible
as it had been when it raised
such a ruckus.

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