It’s wonderful a thing so frail,
No thicker than a hair,
Can drive a mountainous great male
To fury and despair.
A plague, a lusus naturae,
A trouble to us all:
We’re punished past desert, and why?
Because of Adam’s fall.
Demure, benign, of good repute,
It shared his Eden time,
But when he ate forbidden fruit
It turned with him to crime.
Its friendly love-bite now became
An irritant and worse,
Its wing-whirred music, though the same,
Imposed on him a curse.
Grim vehicle for microbes which
Passed down from age to age
Their legacy of smart and itch
And illnesses and rage,
This marvellous machine invades
Defenceless skin with tools
Minutely honed for larder-raids
On flesh-providing fools.
An airborne stomach seeking prey
With gluttonous intent,
Precisely programmed DNA
Detects its meal by scent.
With maddening siren warning song
Unerringly it sinks,
Inserts an analgesic prong
And unsuspected drinks.
The clot-resisting poison numbs
Till greedy sucking’s ceased,
And then the bloated blood-drop hums
Triumphant from its feast.
The devastating itch begins
When once the rogue departs;
Though murder’s one of the ten sins
The search for vengeance starts.
But if it slaked its burning thirst
With juice instead of blood,
We’d praise the traits we’ve often cursed,
Glad it survived the Flood.
And yet, fine-tuned though I conceive it,
God-crafted, after all,
My firm intention is to leave it
Spattered against the wall.