Gross eh? I agree. Not my usual visual or post. In a creative writing class we were asked to write a poem about something we’d like to kill, a thing, an emotion and idea. Easy, the Palmetto bug, a longtime phobia after a few flew at my head at a friend’s house when I turned on her kitchen light at 2am to grab a drink of water.
I could kill a Palmetto bug or a million
but for the horror that turns killer instinct to impotence,
calling my husband like the girl I am with crawling things
because I am woman hear me roar and whimper and run
when Palmetto bugs fly their dark brown armor wings
until they they close to crawl my wall,
creeping across my home,
squeezing flat shields underneath my
small spaces of hearth.
Disgusting invaders uninvited,
they hide in shadows and appear in light.
Vile creatures with droppings and amputated zig zag feet and feelers
I find left behind, limb tragedies of their kind.
I do not care.
Useless bugs that break my code
of insect ethics:
“Outside is their home, let them alone,
inside is my home, they will not roam.”
Kill the palmetto bug wherever they sit,
earthly leafy couches or my plush kind.
Destroy the bug who serves nothing for me
yet I am stopped with stupid fear for
they do not bite, they do not sting.
They have no purpose but to devour
rotting plants, these vultures of our vegetation.
Yet all our creatures inside earth’s rule
offer a job in our connected labor pool.
Killing one is harming all, eco dominoes
that inevitably fall.
Yet I do not think we will miss this bug
so they can die and go away, and earth’s green
scales will not wobble.
Mother Nature will not cry.
The Palmetto bug is meant to die.