Reminder by David R. Slavitt
We behold their periodic hyperabundance,
hear it, and fear it . . . the sky thick with locusts,
so many that even the birdsí voracity
is utterly inadequate. They eat
maybe fifteen percent. The rest forage,
reproduce, die, and fall to the ground to surfeit
the hunger of rodents and then decompose to enrich
the soil with their burst of nitrogen: the duff
is suddenly what only tender greenhouse plants
ever experience, cosseted, fertilized.
All that ravening, all that copulation
ends up there, in a nutrient flush on the woodland
floor where bellflowers, once every seventeen years,
bloom as they did when they first flourished in Eden.
© 2005-2008 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas