Eastern tent caterpillars


Mid-spring, skinny, black, blind
eastern tent caterpillars–
Malacosoma americanum–
falling from the cherry tree
leaning, human, over our deck.
Irksome. Mash and kick
them with my feet, continue
practicing or reading.

Three weeks later, reading
late at night. Heavy-bodied
black-eyed, reflexed antennae–
many hundreds of moths
crave the lamplight, some attaining
extinction through cracks
around the window screen. Vexing.
Until next morning, I look
up the name that has eluded me
all spring and early summer.

The single-minded moth and larval colony–
one small monophony.


Copyright 2007 by Robert Ronnow.