May/June 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 3 Nature’s Nature 2020 |

Locusts or Complaint as Protest

The cicadas are so loud and large tonight I call them locusts, hear them through the windows as they sing a cadence to evening. One flew in front of me today and I thought it a bird — but so loud a whirr no bird could own it. This was after class. I read my students a poem and they dropped so silent, it was as if all the locusts had been eaten in the world. Or crept underground. Gone quiet. Gone nymph. Retreated from men, which is not a word locusts use for mankind or otherwise. Their notes have shapes. I hear the points and angles. They stick to the pines. What are we for but to make a terrible noise? To beat our wings before silence.

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Hannah VanderHart lives in Durham, North Carolina, and recently finished her doctorate at Duke University. She has poetry and reviews published in the Kenyon Review, Poetry Northwest, Greensboro Review, McNeese Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, American Poetry Review, Indianapolis Review, and storySouth. Her chapbook, What Pecan Light, is forthcoming from Bull City Press; she is the reviews editor at EcoTheo Review.

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