Poem of the Week: Meditation on a Mosquito

Kathleen H. Langan
Greenwich Branch

 

First the tell-tale bzzzzzz, then there it is

walking across my husband’s bare arm

and heading straight to do harm

to me, the Go-To-Girl for mosquitoes,

silent and sinister as it propels its improbable body

on six long skinny legs, jointed in the wrong direction,

its proboscis leading the way to the last meal of the day,

a tasty, warm, bright-red midnight supper.

 

As the fiend inches toward me,

Albert Schweitzer’s theory pops into my head,

the one he calls reverence for life.

It asks each of us never ever to forget that

the two things all living creatures share

are the right and the desire to go on living

and thus we are constrained to refrain

from killing any of them at all, large or small.
 
It’s a praiseworthy philosophy, I agree,

but it certainly strains credulity.

I mean, does the dear Doctor really expect me

to believe he lived in Africa all those years

and never once swatted a mosquito?

This one is just playing its role, I grant you that,

Nevertheless, I smash the damned thing

until it is totally dead and flatter than flat.

 

Comments

  1. Kay, this was delightful! I thought the way you described the body of this insect was great! The part I liked best was the last two lines of the first stanza where you talk about what the mosquito might be thinking, and that this would be its last meal of the day! Very funny and so proud you are part of our Letters group!

  2. We swat mosquitoes, quite casually taking their lives. It’s a jungle out there! I like your clever, thoughtful poem. My favorite part may be the description of the mosquito.

  3. BARB WHITMARSH says:

    GOOD POEM ABOUT A WORLD REKNOWNED “KILLER”. IF YA GO CAMPING BRING SOME VICKS VAPO RUB AND RUB IT HERE AND THERE
    SKEETER’S HATE THAT STUFF.
    B.W.

  4. Woito Linda Newman says:

    Nice, cool refreshing view of summer
    During these way-too hot
    Political days

  5. Cool as a cucumber. Nicely said.

  6. Sandra Anfang says:

    I love this poem! You’ve addressed the gamut of ways to think about mosquitoes, with humor as well as solemnity. Strong poetic voice!

  7. Carol Nipomnich Dixon says:

    Witty, clever, and strong.

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