In the first days of summer
the cicada hum was noticeably louder
than usual. Stand beneath trees
where they lived
and the volume was so great,
we had to raise our voices
to hear each other. A few weeks later
a friend was excited to find the shell
of the red-eyed cicada. Turns out,
those early, loud cicada swells
were from one of the species of cicada,
the red-eyes, that arrive only periodically.
The air cooled for days,
atypically,
and there was rain. Summer’s sound
was no more.
Now the cicadas who annually vibrate
their abdomens in the trees here,
have come. The lazy rhythm
of the quieter, more familiar cicada swells
seem to begin about the time during summer
when the temperature climbs. At day’s end,
when the air finally cools enough
for me to sit on the porch, the last
of the day’s cicada “song”
sends me into a summer evening stupor,
much like the hens
roosting in the barn
as Earth rolls up and hides the sun.
Last evening,
succumbed to the sizzley serenade,
I was suddenly,
brought ’round
by a Baltimore Oriole’s
final sweet, clear
refrains of the day.

It sings again
this morning,
brightly,
in the coolness,
as cicadas
sleep.