In Response to: A Cicada Reunion

Poem for Cicada

By Carol Obertubbesing ’73

Written for Brood X during their 2021 emergence and as they prepare to go underground for 17 years  

[1970 - Princeton, New Jersey]
Cicada, you came to me in the sunshine of my youth
The year the world trembled and flared
The year I too emerged and fell deeply in love
The year when  a “doctored” Dylan immortalized you in song.

[1987 - Princeton, New Jersey]
Cicada, you returned in my prime
Career growing, the world opening, love maturing
Yet still staggering, seeking
Trying to learn where I belong.

[2004 - Princeton, New Jersey]
Cicada, you came in the heat of June
Back where I first encountered you - and love
Your orange and black wings mirroring my Tiger colors
In a paradise where we seek to learn right from wrong

[2021 - Princeton, New Jersey - Virtual]
Cicada, you come now when all the world has changed
Uncertainty consumes me, but love leads me
We are weak
But your song is so strong.  

[2038 - Somewhere]
Cicada, how do I find my way up here?
Where will I be in 17 years?
You have lived, mated, and left the next generation
Why do you sleep so long?

[Every day - Everywhere]
Cicada, before you disappear again
Teach us your patience, your passion, your pushing upward
How you go underground and then burst forth
Showing us again the power of your song.

Carol Obertubbesing ’73
Chicago, Ill.