Our first cicada* this summer
sang today, several weeks
after they started singing in
earlier years, so late in summer
after many cool cloudy rainy
weeks that we are now close
to what have always been
the Autumn months.
Will the cicadas have much
less time to lay eggs ?
Or will summer stretch
across the Autumn months ?
Our first monarch butterfly
laid eggs on my swan plants
today, some weeks after they
used to start laying eggs.
Will they have enough hot
weather to lay eggs this
summer ? Or will only
a few butterflies hatch ?
Summer is so confused
this year the insects
are in crisis mode.
I have seen no praying
mantises this summer.
Cicadas are about the size of crickets or slightly larger.
Their song is very different and much louder.
He wakes in a room he has
seen before, can’t think when,
in his pyjamas, in the bed.
Two women in white uniforms
come in, very cheerful, they know
him, help him to shower and dress.
He’s remembering he’s been here
some days now, the men in the
corridor greet him by name.
In a dining room with many
small tables more white uniforms
serve the men breakfast.
After breakfast he potters around
has mid morning cups of tea but
then needs a pre lunch snifter.
Alas all alcohol is locked away
in the nurses’ office medicine
cabinet, very securely locked.
Later afternoon they dole it out
sparingly, must be careful
with old man medication.
He remembers past good times
when he drank long and hard
with equally hard drinking mates.
What would they say if they saw
him now ? But they can’t, they
are gone, he’s outlived them all.
He walked down the busy main
road, searching for someone,
not sure who, then back to the
place where he lived now.
She came in, said Mrs Brown saw
him going down the road. Why ?
She had said she wouldn’t be long.
He wanted to drive himself to the
club but she drove him there, said
he kept forgetting where he was.
He was a good driver, could drive fast,
needed a big car to go really fast
so the blokes at the club would
remember he was a real driver.
They packed everything in a truck
which drove away. Next day they
drove all day – well, she drove
up to a little house and parked the
car. She walked him over the road,
down the drive into a big hallway.
Two women met them, walked with them
along corridors and into a bedroom.
This is your room now they told him.
He says they should drive all day
back to the place they came from.
Then everything would be all right.