Imagining the Life of an Earwig
by Helen Hagemann
Leave a door open long enough
and an earwig will enter. The kitchen
is the most popular to travel in.
Among insects a decision is made
(those of different species)
not to touch or pass by in the hallway.
An ant and earwig might come together
and part, safe in the knowledge
that when one leaves another arrives.
It’s the past meeting the future
Whichever direction an earwig goes,
it will be one fast step
from the swish of a dog’s tail,
or the pounce of a cat’s paw.
Outdoors, earwigs forage in drains, leaf litter.
They love the chemistry of winter air,
the heavy crash of rain, a blue sky when it stops.
Sometimes you find an earwig sleeping between
the sheets of the morning newspaper,
although a quick flap or roll
over discarded scraps
can be fatal.