by Jackie Oldham
May 23, 2021
Sunday morning, 9am
and already 79 degrees.
by the one-note symphony
of cicadas singing from trees.
But there’s a soloist
whose song rises above the rest—
an urgent fifth – F to B flat
repeating at steady intervals.
Is this the lucky cicada
who found his mate?
The world will never know.
In the end, the entire brood
will mate, lay eggs, and die,
leaving their exoskeleton carcasses
and their soft, red-eyed bodies to rot
on sidewalks and cars,
Their progeny will rise up singing
in another 17 years.
Jackie Oldham is a writer from Baltimore, Maryland. She has read her work at local venues, for the Quintessential Listening: Poetry podcast (2019, 2020, and upcoming on February 10, 2021), and for the Black Poets Matter series, presented by Mad Mouth Poetry. Her essays have appeared as Editorials…
View original post 98 more words
2 thoughts on “Brood X Symphony (The 17-Year Cicadas)”
I am so grateful to the Co-Curators of Global Poemic for including this poem in its final new edition. To have 3 poems, total, published in this historic volume that records the world-wide response to the 2020 Covid Pandemic is my greatest honor and privilege.
To read the Co-Curators’ statement, go to
This poem does a great job of succinctly capturing the life cycles of the Cicadas. It will be so cool to post this again when the next broods arrive in about 17 years! Great work!