Thursday, August 16, 2012

481. Dutch Cicadas

Cicadas march on to their shift at daybreak, since
you'll never hear the buggers at night. They have
their factory horn: drop your cocks and grab your socks!
It’s reveille, a revelry of summer sounds. A summer morn
as long as these rockers are around, a pervading blight
which can either drive you nuts, or make you reach
for Pina Coladas on the beach, your sunglasses just so,
waiting for that heiress from Indiana. Juliana was still

Queen of the Netherlands when my father fucked off
for New York and didn’t like it. New Amsterdam was a joke
with nothing left but misspelt names: Harlem, the Bronx,
Roosevelt. He lit off with another bloke for Miami Beach
on Trailways Buses through the Deep South, his mouth
opened wide, a constant O of wonder. A lynching in Georgia,
a bottom pinching of a Charleston Beauty. But that was a fat
old white man, member of the Klan, so he was all right.

Travelling on by day and night, the sun a constant trial,
for the Hollanders of his generation did not grow tanned
but proceeded from pink to red to scarlet to near imminent
self-explosion: a phial (bah!) even a gallon of sun lotion
came as little relief. Stubborn, pig-headed, Dutch beyond belief,
he headed for salvation, immolation, between the sea and sand!
Of course he made it. Not only that he met my stunning mother,
stole her off some New York hood. She liked his peeling nose

and reckoned things might turn out good with an honest man.
She was right about that. Pretty girls know men will chase them
for a certain while: be bad, if you like, but make your pile
before the party's over. My Mommy wasn't a hard case, not really,
she wanted out soon. She married my Daddy, Dirk Van Roon,
and lived happily ever after. My sister and I grew up in style,
amid songs and love and laughter. But they are sadly dead now,
as so many people we love are dead. The lines have been read.