drone off and on
off and on
their outer selves hold
tight to a blade of grass
tree trunk
iris leaves we don't remember planting
the front door frame
under the porch
as if they've been invited
they were time tellers 
before I could read time
signaling a long hot day
hanging back on my favorite swing
long hair dangling in the dirt
rocking myself into a bright summer haze
eyes closed
big toe digging into the ground
giving myself a little push
nothing to do inside
nothing to do outside
too hot
too boring
all I could do was swing
back and forth
back and forth
if I were a cicada
I'd sing with them
droning off and on
off and on
complaining about the heat
the sun
almost wishing for cooler weather 
then realizing 
I'd have to stop swinging
I leave the shell of my former self
on the swing
pull myself up and head indoors
for a drink of water
the cicadas continue their songs
reminding us 
this summer heat 
is temporary
Tuesday, July 12, 2022


10 thoughts on “Cicadas

  1. You have me fascinated with the image of leaving the shell of your former self on the swing as you go in for water!
    And your description of hanging in the heat, hair swinging, toe digging in… really great writing.
    I am wondering if the exploration of summer heat, boredom, and the cicadas measuring time, are really about youth?


  2. Summer, swinging, and all the feels, “they were time tellers/before I could read time” I love these lines and the cicadas as guests who act as if they’ve been invited under the porch. Such great imagery here.I could draw this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cicadas ARE my favorite insect, for similar threads that you’ve woven in your beautiful poem; the rise and fall of their buzzing takes me back to childhood summers spent with my grandparents, deep in the countryside.Their symbolism is profound. I write of them often. I wait for the first one each year and am inexplicably encouraged by it. These lines are especially lovely:
    they were time tellers
    before I could read time

    I absolutely love that – and all of your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fran,
      Funny thing (or maybe not): the day after I posted this there were two cicadas on the front porch, up high. One was emerging from its old self and the other was getting ready. The bright green wings greeting me as if saying, here we are! I’m looking at them differently now.


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