Danusha Laméris | The Bugs of Childhood

Don’t you remember them, the furred legs

of a caterpillar moving along your arm, each follicle

prickling beneath their touch? The crumpling

of the ladybug’s underwings as it tucked them back

beneath its glossy shell. The butterfly on your finger

unfurling its long, spiral tongue. Rows and rows of ants,

hefting their white eggs. The fly’s head

bowed, antennae bent under the careful work

of forelegs as it bathed its large composite eye.

 

One, no bigger than a speck, left tufts of foam

in your palm; another, a pool of green. Some

rolled themselves into a pill-shaped ball at the slightest touch,

while others, no matter how you tried, refused.

What was it about the workings of their small bodies,

the click of the mandibles or the steady pulse

of the thorax, so nipped at the center it seemed

tied with a string? Almost electric,

the way they zipped through the grass,

sunlight caught in iridescence.

Remember? How the dirt glinted

and shimmered, how the blind earth

once writhed, alive in your hands.

 

Danusha Lameris

 

 

 

 

 

This poem first appeared in The Sun magazine and is reprinted here by permission.

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2 Responses to Danusha Laméris | The Bugs of Childhood

  1. Rachelle September 15, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    I adore your poem. There is something so intriguing, innocent about bugs and childhood.

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