Gypsy Moth Caterpillars
We smashed them on the soles of our shoes.
They crawled up and down our steep driveway
leaving the gray-green smear of their feces.
My mom forbade Grandpa his morning walk,
sure he’d slip. All night we heard them
leaf-munch like something from Spielberg
so smushing them served them right.
We’d bet on the color of their guts–
a pop of jewel green, an ooze
of ruby, a splat of gray. Our dads
taped adhesive to the tree trunks,
but the lucky ones climbed over the stuck victims.
Only when a lady visited the neighbors
did we all look up when she did
at the July branches, bare as winter.
published in Harpur Palate, Volume 13.1 – Summer/Fall 2013