Archives for category: insects

Lost

The official letter
she had been holding
trailed to the floor
and she fumbled
with a bowl of aphids,
suddenly lacking her
usual appetite for them.

Feeling clumsy,
she set them free
by a windowsill.
The world outside
seemed unreal—
slow and dream-like.
“I must be in shock,”
she mumbled inaudibly.

The letter bore
the usual formalities
and some kind of fancy
seal that meant it was
from someone important,
someone who would
know what he knows,
and bears the responsibility
for conveying only
necessary information
and unfortunate facts.

“Ms. Ladybird,”
it began. “It is with our
sincerest sorrow that
we regret to inform you:
your house has completely
succumbed to fire, and
we were unable to locate
most of your children
in the blaze.”

The impersonal black
words on the white page
were burned into her mind’s eye.
Everything inside her railed
against the horror.

It continued.
“We were able to save
but one, who was hiding
at the time of the incident;
she will be in our custody
for the time being,
and you may retrieve her
at your earliest opportunity.
She is being attended by
our fine counselors and
receiving the utmost
professional attention
deemed helpful, as
she awaits your
return.”

“Ann! Ann!”
She cried aimlessly
into the summer air,
her eyes blurred by tears,
frantic and frozen
in her helplessness.

“We offer our
heartfelt condolences
for your terrible loss.
It is our duty at this time
to strongly urge you
to fly away home
at once, for the good
of your surviving child,
as well as for your own
welfare.”

In a daze,
she read the words
like a foreign language,
barely comprehending.

“Home…yes…home,”
she resolved, still shaken.

“But where is home?”

Claire Juno, © 2017

…inspired by the English nursery rhyme, “Ladybird, Ladybird”.
…dedicated to all who feel displaced in this world, whether by calamity or circumstance.

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Junebugs

The sun is warming our backs
and we are on top of this giant grape leaf
and I am on top of you and we are
a conjoined lump of gold in this
afternoon light.

How could this be any more perfect
for two such as us, who happened
to come into this world with only
a year’s worth of days to our names
to live out our purpose, which is mainly
to further our kind forward in time
by sitting on this leaf together
one on top of the other,
glinting golden in the sun?

Later, perhaps, we’ll nibble shamelessly
at the deep pink roses in their garden,
spoiling the buds before they can fully bloom.

But they can hardly blame us,
even when they flick us off the flower
right in the middle of our indulgences.
We only have a year together,
and must use our time judiciously.

Claire Juno, © 2014

Under Glass

I can see where I want to be—
it’s right in front of me,
tantalizingly close.

And yet, somehow,
I cannot get there.

This has never happened
to me before.

How it came to be
that I found myself
in this predicament
I haven’t the slightest clue,
though it appears, by the
lifeless creatures lined up
beneath me, that I am not
the first nor the last
to be facing the ultimate
high-stakes puzzle
of being stuck
behind this window.

Either I figure it out
reasonably soon, or I end up
like those poor crispy souls
down in the sill.

Meanwhile,
through this transparent pane,
an ironically lovely view
of the world to which I once
belonged, and so wish to return.
I’ll be honest and say it is
unclear to me whether I will.

From this vantage point,
I am safe from hungry birds,
but also unavailable to all
the potential suitors flying by,
unaware in their passing
flirtations that I am not
sitting atop the glass, but trapped
beneath it. Dodged bullets,
missed opportunities.

It is an ordinary window
meant to keep our sorts
out of “their” abode,
and yet I am trapped within it
against my will, unable to eat
or breed or jump or fly,
all of these possibilities
within easy view, as is
the continuance of life itself,
but for this intractable pane
that locks me in and keeps
me out at the same time.

Claire Juno, © 2014

The Exchange

This bee keeps buzzing,
buzzing, flying rings around me.
It wants me, wants what I have.
And I suppose I was born for this.

Still, my strange little heart
beats faster when that bee comes
around, because I know what
he’s up to, what he’s about.
He is a bee, doing bee things,
doing what bees do well.

I know all of this and yet
I remain still, I make no
attempt to discourage him.
I am watchful and aware.
I know when he is near,
and he always seems
to find ways to be near,
as though he wants to
make sure he stays in
my awareness.

And sooner or later,
he’s bound to make his
move, and when he does,
there will be the pulsing
give and take of an exchange
that has bound us to each other
since the beginning of his sort
and mine, and there is nothing
I could do, or would do,
to stop it.

Claire Juno, © 2013