Umbrella’s lighter offshoot



by Catherine Chandler

I never saw a zyzzyva,
its habitat sub-tropic;
but I've been told it's beastly, bold,
its mercies microscopic.

It spends its days in baneful ways,
devouring field and garden;
you can be sure this epicure
won't beg the palm trees pardon.

With frightful mien it can be seen
attacking jacaranda;
it loves to chew on new bamboo—
a match for any panda.

It has a greed for guava seed,
for pepper and papaya;
an orchid shoot will always suit
this ravenous pariah.

No Hall of Fame displays its name,
no Air Miles Plan rewards it;
and Webster thinks the weevil stinks,
but, in the end, records it.

Catherine Chandler
studied modern languages as an undergraduate and holds an M.A. in Education from McGill University, where she teaches Spanish in the Department of Translation Studies. She also manages a government-sponsored project in the Faculty of Arts. Her poems and translations have been published or are forthcoming in SPSM&H (Amelia), The LyricBlue Unicorn, and other journals and anthologies. She was born in New York, raised in Pennsylvania, and now lives in St. Lazare, a rural town in Quebec, Canada.