Kathleen H. Langan
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.