The aphids are wringing their linen rags.
The aphids girdle the Earth,
a metallic whine in the throes of existence.
They've limped away from the ladybug wars.
They're learning to churn butter —
a night course provided by providence.
A few chew old leather
in order that it might become supple again.
A good number resist the wall-eyed hypnotist.
Collectively, they're brighter than chickens.
Pale green futurists, they make the sign of the circle.
There's coffee on their breaths,
what I believe are ink-stains on their fingers —
with lifestyles more complex
than first we had imagined.
Miniature but unwilling acolytes,
the old priest blesses them with kettle-water,
lends them an unopened prayer,
listens to their dimwitted but startling confessions.
I'm telling you this
because aphids are death's tiniest messengers.
That anthem they're bawling into the treetops
is the song of the hereafter.

Bruce McRae

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