They return with spring, always sooner
than we thought they would.
One day you spot the first overhead
(directly above your coffee cup, in fact)
climb a chair to invade its realm
(the door-sills need dusting)
and crush it with a tissue.
You know what to expect in the months to come:
ambushes in the sink, the cabinets, the shower.
An egg sac will hatch and for hour
you’ll smudge tiny dots across the ceiling.
The black, jumpy ones are hard
to kill, but harmless; the fear spawned
by their slow, brown cousins
proves more resilient than their fragile bodies.
It’s not this dead tangle of legs you dread,
but the many (how many?) you haven’t seen.
The walls, the couch, the bed could host a horde.
By summer, they’ll be feasting
on the ants, pillbugs and moths
who will live (and die) in the pantries,
corners and curtains. No matter
what the mortgage company says,
this house will never be yours.
The owners keep coming back.
I have a lot of anti-spring poems — and for that matter, a lot of anti-nature poems.
At least we don’t (knock wood) have roaches.