25 Aug

Cicada killers

The wasp glided by my legs, slow and low like a giant airliner that somehow takes flight despite its enormous size. Likewise, the wasp seemed to defy gravity, for it carried in its legs a motionless cicada nearly twice its size. Paralyzed by the hunter’s stinger somewhere high above, the cicada floated toward the ground in the wasp’s deathtrap. A macabre flight indeed, this tandem skydive.

Landing on the ground, the wasp slowly and effeciently carried its victim below ground. The grave had already been bored, and the wasp’s young waited within. Soon the two disappeared completely; the struggle between life and death would continue below ground. Inseparable lovers are life and death, one needing the other for its own survival.

Late that night, lying in bed, I listen to the sounds of summer, but all I hear is the song of one less cicada.

It is the song of death. It is the song of life. Two melodies, one chorus.

The cicada sings counterpoint, as does the world.