A Miracle of Nature

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Beauties they are

with orange-tipped, translucent wings

spanning to three inches.

Stout bodied with concentric stripes

they belt their songs

and an audible trill pierces

the summer night and day.

A thousand small engines

pulse endlessly.

Two or more falter

dropping to the ground

while others drone on

in an unrelenting cadence

east of the Mississippi River.

More than a decade long life cycle

large-eyed adults

live merely weeks.

Spending most of their time

as nymphs

they burrow into soil

feeding on deciduous tree roots

inhabiting meadows, forests and prairies.

At 13, or 17 years, ripened

the nymphs crawl to an upright support

split their skin and climb

fulfilling their destiny as cicadas.

(c) June 8, 2015 Gabrielle Songe

All Rights Reserved.

Found text: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders

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