Poem: “Bugs”


I take inchworms from wet rocks on the beach and place them in trees.

I collect ants from my kitchen in cupped hands and deposit them outside.

Beetles are moved to the porch.
Worms stranded on hot pavement returned to the soil.
Buzzing winged things are shooed out windows.

Ladybugs trail me wherever I go.
There are too many of them,
and sometimes I find their carcasses months later,
still and hollow,
bodies scooped out.

The creatures with many legs and thoraxes,
with antenna and wings,
with slime and shell,
they follow me.

I do not know if they realize I fear them.

I keep releasing them anyway.
Trap, identify, free.
Go haunt someone else.

A spider goes into a plastic cup with an index card over the top.
I walk it to a garden,
gently remove the card.
Try not to tense as the spider leaves its holding cell.

I cannot kill the things I hate.

– © 2021, Saratoga Schaefer

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