Fishflies are appearing on the windows at work and along the Mississippi riverwalk, so I thought this poem would be appropriate for today!
While you cling to these windows with jellied feet.
I applaud you
for your patience to hatch
only when the Mississippi sinks
enough to reveal its muddy sandbars.
For your veracious need to reproduce
as you fly upward with your swarm
of heron’s beaks and catfish
all in the name of sex.
As I watch you shiver in your death throes,
I hope your 24 hours were fruitful
with the chance to hitch
onto some tourists
swarming the Dubuque sidewalks.
And I hope you had the chance
to fly through
Farmers Market at dawn
just as the line begins
for the sweet corn wagon
when the scent of fresh bread and sawdust
mingles with produce and patchouli.
Because tomorrow morning,
when the train
crosses the old bridge across the river,
its hoots ricocheting off limestone bluffs.
you will be no more than a husk
washed into the gutter
well on your way
back to the Mississippi River silt.