I met a cicada the other day.
It was sitting on the wall of my garage.
Cicadas aren’t seen in my neighborhood —
It is not the sort of weather for them here.
I looked in its eyes, and was taken back
To forgotten bits of memory: of heat,
Of the warm evenings of childhood in the east,
Of days in the shade, and the sweat of night,
And cicada skins all clinging to the trees.
But back in myself, in my cold northwest,
Inscrutable eyes looking back at me,
I was glad to be away, to have escaped.
Cicadas of memory live too long.
After casting off a ghost like a bad dream,
To earth, to the soil of the mind they dig,
To emerge, in a few years, in a new skin.