I really enjoy the poetry of Bill Holm. When we first moved to the rolling prairies, I discovered his books of poetry and essays at an area library. He is a local writer, the descendant of Icelandic immigrant farmers, so the section was well-stocked.
I recently re-checked out one of his first books I became acquainted with: Boxelder Bug Variations: A Meditation on an Idea in Language and Music. Oh, how it makes me laugh! I had forgotten. Boxelder bugs are a common, harmless pest that over-winter in Minnesota homes (though I never really saw them until moving to the southwest part of the state). I have a tender-spot for them because of this book.
There is a Borealis family legend that tells of Squeeze's great-grandma, Mammy, being so disgusted by boxelder bugs that one fall that she poured gasoline over a large cluster of them on the trunk of a boxelder, killing the bugs, but also the poor tree.
So in honor of Mammy, I offer this poem.
THOUGH DIFFICULT, IT IS POSSIBLE TO KILL
BOXELDER BUGS. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED,
YOU MIGHT TRY THIS METHOD
Take two bricks.
Creep deliberately up
Behind the boxelder bug,
Being careful not to sing --
This will alert him.
In a graceful flowing gesture,
Something like a golf swing
Or reaching for your lover in the dark,
Gather up the boxelder bug
On the surface of the left brick
Bringing the right brick
At the same time firmly down
Together with the left brick.
There will be a loud crashing,
Like broken cymbals,
Maybe a breaking of brick, and
If you are not careful,
Your own voice rising.
When the brick dust has settled
And you have examined your own hands,
You will not see the boxelder bug.
There is a small hole in the brick
And he is exploring it,
Calmly, like a millionaire
In an antique shop.
~ Bill Holm
Boxelder Bug Variations