Issue No. 20 | Spring 2019

Cicada Song

In midsummer the only sound is the swamp,

the night hawks and katydids and cicadas

who weave their own melody through the night

 a tongue older than time, 

song of the shimmering, scuttling things 

who live only for a day and fade away –

and in their effervescence

do not fear death, 

do not fear sin -

do not know 

the measure of their lives

and do not care 

theirs is a hymn not to heaven or hell, 

but to the hours of the night -

a faith without fear, a faith truly free -

sometimes, long after midnight, 

the street lamps flicker off, 

if only for an instant

shuddering into stillness,

the memory of the city slips 

up and away into the ink-stain sky 

in that instant, it is quiet – 

in that instant, we are free. 



Robin Happel is a freelance writer and Fordham student originally from East Tennessee. Her work has previously appeared in McSweeney’s, America Magazine, and other small presses.