It’s all about timing,
And careful tree climbing.
They pop from their shells and they part.

Their eyes red and buggy,
While some say they’re ugly.
Their wings are like small works of art. 

They’re just looking for mates,
No apps for their dates.
The males have to woo them in songs 

So the guys vocalize.
To attract female sighs.
The rest doesn't take very long.

While serenading subsides.
The eggs hatch and hide.
And before you know it, they’ve gone.
The Brood X Cicada,  
I am glad that God made ya’.
But now you must go underground. 

We will miss your din,
Though you will come again.
And I’m hoping I’ll still be around. 

The Great Cicada ​Serenade 

I have to give credit to my brother for inspiring this poem. He and I were discussing the Brood X Cicadas. He lives outside of D.C and I live near Princeton.  Both of our backyards currently sound like the “War of the Worlds.” I mentioned the song Bob Dylan wrote about these bugs in 1970, when he received an Honorary Doctorate from Princeton.  It was a year the Great Eastern Cicadas were active. My brother complained that Dylan called the song Day of the Locust, not Cicada. He is a stickler for scientific accuracy. I took it as a challenge and did my research. While the rhymes are not perfect, the verses contain cicada facts to appease my brother. I hope you enjoy the serenade.

  • Cicada Serenade0:16

Don’t you think it’s absurd,
That some voices are heard,
Only once every 17 years?

Yet the Great Eastern Brood,
Now with millions of dudes,
Brings long-absent tunes to our ears.

After four squared plus one,
Their journey’s begun.
Awaiting the ground temps to warm.

When it hits 65,
Their limbs come alive.
They emerge and are ready to swarm.

The Brood X Cicada,
Not sure why God made ya’?
Your days have finally arrived.

Since two thousand and four, 
You’ve slept under Earth’s floor.
How is it that you have survived?