Today's poem is by Jere Odell

Armadillidae Vulgare

Day was the roly-polies were pacifists,
who took to tuck-and-ball and rearing marsupium,
and were, thus pushed, budged up and landed
exiled from the briny republics of their isopodal kin.
Since they've been creeping damp to damp
through continents; hiding from daylight
and making plans. See for yourself, the spare
economizers cabal under your potted plants,
meet and greet beneath the doormat
and you've just no idea where they've been.
Soon you'll wake to their war chants,
find their multitudes marshaled in ranks
and taking by conquest your studied boudoir.
They'll scoff in their gills' bit of ocean,
rule you a wasteful vertebrate and too plush,
roll you up dumbstruck in your bed sheets,
and dump you roadside with your lugs a-cumber.
As for me, I'll surrender first, maybe this week;
send out my first born to envoy with wilted greens,
also shrunken letters in submissive ink;
I'll make haste, make tribute and translate;
pull shut the curtains and let down the ferns,
soak the carpets, sleep one-footed, upright,
beg and meet demands. With luck,
they'll barrack here between siege and blitz,
have mercy, allot me a bit of jerky, a cup of air.

Copyright © 2006 Jere Odell All rights reserved
from The Notre Dame Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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