In crooked paths, they waft
through August, pinging from
fruit to fruit, gang aft

agley, then rest on plum
or Brandywine to lay
their careful schemes: in sum,

thousands of eggs per day.
They curse each coffee cup
to drink the cream, and pay

with life for that one taste.
But I, being a man,
have countless tries to waste

in winging rot to rot,
pursuing finer things.
The hands of others swat

me, rising up and up—
a driven little fly
bound for a coffee cup.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 Number 4, on page 49
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