Honorable Mention – 2021 Beverly Hopkins Contest for High School Students

Cicada Funeral

Central Visual & Performing Arts High School

Cicadas chirped all the time during that odd June
When they last emerged onto the world.
My brother collected their clumsy
Live bodies in a mason jar.

He showed me the treasure from inside the plastic playground slide
Which we’d carved our initials into the underbelly of
Two years prior with a dull pocketknife
And jagged lettering.

We met their beady red eyes through foggy glass and
Let them taste our Polar Pop.
Some bugs just can’t handle
Their sugar.