Don Riggs: The Flies of Mid-Autumn

The flies of mid-autumn are fat and slow.
Their buzzing is over an octave too low.
They are the survivors:  there is no limit
to how large they can grow, but as long as they eat, they expand.
They are anachronistic, like the last
Civil War veterans in the mid-twentieth century
or like the few most ancient of the vultures
that might have feasted, fledglings, on horses
slaughtered at Gettysburg.
The flies of mid-autumn seem undecided as to
what they should do or where they should go,
as opposed to the flies of summer, whose apparent
diffidence and divagation are deliberate manoeuvres,
inscribed in their genes, to wear down our wariness.
There is one in my bathroom right now, in
early November, as big as a toad,
voice deep as a bumblebee’s, a prune with wings.



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