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The Hoosier Poems

Domestic Trivia (The Poet Comes Up For Air) [ Fly ]

By Michael L. Smith

I have to make a confession that will reflect on our hygiene:
we're plagued by insects (though obviously not in pharaonic proportions).

The ants aren't that bad since they pretty well stick to their
own business. Being labor-intensive, their single-minded
persistence can engender inefficiencies -- trace that Indian file
of miniature coolies as it carries off my apple, needle head by
needle head, invariably navigating at right angles.
Haven't they ever heard of Euclid?

In certain respects, I despise their Calvinistic inclinations.
(I could never imagine them making love), but admittedly,
they only get into the garbage and the dirty diapers thrown
in haste on the floor, profiting from our neglect.

Mercifully enough for us, they show no hostility for the boiling
water that my wife at times resorts to.

The cockroaches are recluses so there's little I can say.

Going against my principles of tolerance, I can find no redeeming
attributes in flies.
Showing no respect for convention, cloying
in their approaches, they constantly irritate our tempers,
interrupt our meals and couplings and embarrass us
in front of company.

And to add injury to insult, they fall into my kid's soup,
aquatic buzzing, exploiting her curiosity, inciting
her to eat them:
there are some intimacies I will not permit!