Brian S. Lee: The Mosquito

  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.

Blood-gorged mosquito on finger