Cicada III

by Scott Aycock


I am drawn to the empty husk
of the Cicada
where it clings to the bark of a tree
in my backyard.

Fearing I will crush it,
I tug carefully at this kneeling shell
praying for one more day
past its allotted thirty.

I carefully cup the empty form
in my two hands
to carry to where my grandfather knells
on his side in bed.

He clings to a blanket drawn tight under his chin.
He is an insect.
His frail husk of a body
light enough that I could lift him.

The thin skin of his forearms
stretches tight over bones that once cradled me.
When he breathes his body crackles
like wax paper in fire.

Looking at this almost empty shell,
wanting to crawl inside,
slip his skin over mine and emerge shimmering new,
to sing with my grandfather through one more dusk.