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The fly father and the uncles are busy

hurling themselves at the window.  They swear

in buzz, and refuse to believe

in glass.  If they can't see it,

it's not there, that's their story, and meanwhile

the mother is tenderly nestling eggs,

peeled-white and rice -grained,

in the cat food.  Always she's rubbing her forelegs

and cocking her head while she considers the six sides

to every question.


To be green-black and filmy-winged,

a nuisance and a plague, germy!  To be the carrier

of annoying news, bad news, never good, never good:

no one wants to see flies.  To feast on garbage;

to walk on the open eyes of the dead!

To shake oneself into death

buzzing and buzzing while

someone searches for a swatter!


The fly family believes in reincarnation.

When it's your turn to go, they hope

they'll get to take you over,

so next time you'll be spoiler, handwasher,

seeker after decay, swarmer over the world,

unwelcome, fast, persistent.

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