Wretched Rhymes

The Bugs

I argued it’s spring – it’s a bug luncheonette,
They’re killing and eating their prey.
I’m afraid that it’s me they are trying to get,
but Mom just laughed, she said go out and play.

On the sunporch are houseplant parasites,
mealy bugs and predator mites,
thrips and aphids, sticky on leaves,
and whiteflies and gnats as thick as thieves.

A cobweb as soon as I stepped out the door,
a big yellow spider comes looking to score.
Mosquitoes and no-see-ums round my head,
the buzzing of bumble bees fills me with dread.
I see the long mud organs stuck on the wall,
and know that some wasp is coming to call,
another is boring holes into the deck.
There’s millions of bees in the flowerbeds. Heck.

I fall off the deck steps onto the ground,
and catching my breath and looking around,

a fire ant hill is just inches away,
and a couple of earthworms are crawling my way.
There’s maggots in something that used to be dead,
and under the deck an old piece of bread,
and six million marching ants picking it up,
and taking it back to their anthill for sup.

Attacking and trying to take it away,
dressed up like some kind of saints, latter-day,
two beetles with pincers all decked out in black,
it’s then that I notices a white slimy track,
a large yellow slug that went under a board,
it was then that my brain snapped, my senses restored.

I leapt to my feet. Got to get back inside,
but stumbled instead to a shrub, horrified.

Bumble and honey bees, lone yellow jacket,
and two huge bees hovering, making a racket.
Thrashing around I thought I would die
and then, saw a yellow and black butterfly.

A calming voice seemed to come into my head.
“We mean you no harm,” I thought that it said,
“Don’t panic but look at the beauty instead.”
“You’re crazy,” I whispered, “you all want me dead!”

I flailed and stumbled to the side of the shed,
where I focused and saw a million things red.

A swarm of red ladybugs covered the sill,
and a couple of stinkbugs wishing me ill,
a dragonfly trying to land on my nose,
and a couple of moths attacking my clothes.
And next to my shoulder, on the wood chopper,
a mean-looking black and green yellow grasshopper.

Thrashing and stumbling, tried to get gone,
with crickets exploding all over the lawn,
an air force converged – my continued nightmare,
with horseflies dive bombing right into my hair.
And some kind of green fly was biting my neck,
a stumbling, mumbling, panicking wreck.

On the ground I awoke after hitting the tree,
saw a cow killer searching for Elsie or me.

Mom finally relented. Couldn’t take any more,
She said come in and watch TV.
And I started to doze, slouched safe on the floor,
but I dreamed that an insect still wanted me.

I startled awake and dropped the remote.
It was no dream. It was on an approach.
I saw. I screamed. That’s all she wrote.
I was killed by a large palmetto-brown roach.

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