The cicada is a bit mysterious Before it becomes ubiquitous.
It hides underground for decades,
Then becomes the background music for the months of July and August.
You can’t miss it.
When it is below ground, what is it doing?
Perhaps it is down there composing and practicing its song,
Or just learning the bars of its ancient song,
Older than our species and most others.
You don’t see it, and then you can’t fail to hear it emerging--
As a politician who emerges at election time,
As quiet child who emerges as a teenager,
Or as me, an old man who finds a new song to sing
After years of singing the same ones.
But if the cicada is the background music for this season,
The laughter of little ones is the music I choose for my own season.
There are symphonies and choral works that stir my soul,
And an operatic aria that makes my eye moisten,
Or so many tunes to which I can tap my toes in rhythm.
But the laughter of little ones awakens a new song in my heart,
Or perhaps an ancient one, older than me
Older than all of us,
Hiding underground like a cicada.