“She is beautiful and blameless. . .”

Dave Bonta is the only poet I know who could write an insightful and compassionate poem about a mosquito.  Dave lets us share the mountains and forests he calls home every day from his blog Morning Porch.  I guarantee you’ll become a fan.  And for more from his mountains, check out his new book Ice Mountain: An Elegy, a poetic six month diary of daily observations about a mountain losing its battle with man.  You can learn more about Dave here.

*Aedes vexans*

On the last day of summer, drifting
slow as hope through the thick air of evening,
she chances into a plume of CO2
& follows it upstream until she senses my arm’s
telltale heat. She hovers, then sinks
the last few inches straight down
into my pelt with all her landing gear extended,
proboscis going into the skin
even as the slight craft of her body
still rides the hairs down, her feet stretching
one by one down, down,
& I am here. Lord, I am here.
She is beautiful & blameless & I in a mood to share
the beer in my veins, watching as her banded abdomen
turns dark, inflates.
A long minute later she pulls out, rises unsteadily
& sails off singing her single note.
Then comes a rapid patter across the field, the yard,
staccato on the porch roof & into the woods –
suddenly it’s pouring & the treetops are bending,
swaying under the weight of it
even before the first drops
penetrate all the way to the forest floor.
A wheal rises where the mosquito took
the only blood supper of her purposeful life.
While I sit waiting for God knows what,
it has fallen to me, what she no longer needs:
the goad of her saliva.
Her fierce itch.

– Dave Bonta

I lost summer somewhere

Sorry.  Gotta take a “me” moment in this month of celebrating mostly other people’s poetry.  Poetry Breakfast is one of my favorite online journals, and they honored me by publishing one of my poems this morning.  You can read it on their site along with other fine poems (and follow their site to get a poem for breakfast every morning) or read it here.

I lost summer somewhere
in the wildflowers, woke
to trees blushing at my disregard,
wind hurrying the clouds along.
I should have seen the signs.
I watched geese abandon their twigged
April nests, pin-feathered goslings
ripple ponds listless with July. Now they rise
gray against the gray sky, skeining south
before first snows.

I’ll stay here, I tell them. I’ll air out
cedared cardigans, chop carrots
for the soup tonight, cross
the threshold of the equinox,
try not to stumble.

Sarah Russell
First published in Poetry Breakfast