by John Davis Jr.
Plecia nearctica: small black flies with a dull, somewhat velvety appearance, except that the top of the thoraxes (the area immediately behind the head) is red. – University of Florida Entomology Dept.
The dead separation of summer
concludes as attachment begins –
Paired black-and-red-orange insects swarm
on the concrete block school wall
as students glue themselves
to classroom plastic chairs
awaiting that relation
of knowledge and feeling.
Like unwanted dandelions,
the lovebugs drift and pollinate
beyond our storm-proof windows
in the still heavy humid air
of Florida’s not-yet autumn.
A new group of pupils sits staring,
rife with expectant questions, pregnant
pauses between thoughts and expressions
of wonder, understanding.
Detachment will be here
before we’ve prepared. Those facts
and twelve-legged bug clusters
of week one will return to remind
us: short is life, near is the end,
and the bliss of connection
only lasts so long before
A sixth-generation, Florida Cracker Poet, John Davis Jr. lives in Winter Haven and serves as English Department Chair for The Vanguard School of Lake Wales. He is the winner of the Wesley Ryals Award in Creative Writing for Poetry from Florida Southern College and has had works published in a broad array of literary journals, including the Santa Fe Review, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Cantilevers, Frigg Magazine, The Swamp and other fine publications.