The Cicadas

when exactly did they start
            their uncanny chirring
that moved from those trees
            to these and quieted
then rose up again in those
            waves of sound underneath which
although it was so strange
            we continued as usual
children tearing around crazy
            with end-of-day energy
adults talking over the news
            having drinks on the porch
the rising falling buzzing
            around us relentless
like insomniac thinking
            monotonous grinding
rapid wings scraping
            insistent erotic
maybe a kind of warning
            bomb fire tornado
or a lecture in a warm room
            where listeners nod off
and wake up with a start
            heads bobbing like marionettes
the strings slackening tightening
            when exactly was it over
who could understand it
            we will be tested
what do we need to know