Syringe and Syphon

A beautiful summer-like day in Rochester, Minnesota. Outside the gymnasium during a break from watching volleyball, I saw this Giant Water Bug on the pavement in the parking lot. Crawling then flapping then crawling again, it struggled to make progress. I picked it up, took it's photo and set it off the pavement. A long time ago, as a graduate student, I kept one of these insects as a pet. Years after that, I commemorated it with a poem.


A stocky student in chest-waders,
he joked about nearly everything, but spoke
seriously about snails, passionately describing
their perfect habitats, their golden spirals.

He collected in shallow bays and bogs
raking a net under lily pads.
At the end of the day, the snails
sloshed in a five gallon bucket.

One day water scorpions and
crayfish, another day a giant water bug
traveling like an origami rowboat
in the bucket with the snails.

We gathered round. He incanted
the Latin name, Lethocerus americanus.
The bug’s mouth both syringe and syphon.
You can feed it goldfish, he said.

So we fed it goldfish in a fish tank
back at our university lab.
Until it escaped and flew like a bat
down clean, well-lighted hallways.

Publicado por scottking scottking, 15 de maio de 2017, 03:01 AM


Fotos / Sons




Maio 14, 2017 09:41 AM CDT


Giant Water Bug
National Volleyball Center
Rochester, Minnesota


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