Laura Johnson: Bats In A Tail-Spin

The luna moth’s long spinning wing-tails aren’t for nothing.
They discovered this when they bobbed them.
Not mischievous little boys, mind you;
it was grown-up men who robbed them.

They put on their lab coats, laid them
out on shiny tables, and went to snipping.
Next they set them free, and whaddaya know?
They flew off happily . . . swooping, soaring, dipping.

But it was like they had “eat me” tattooed on their wings,
and for the scientists, this was quite a revelation
because bats can’t see, much less read;
they find their food with echolocation.

The tails were mucking up the bats’ sonar,
faking them out, sending them to munch on air.
Crazy thing is, the luna moths still don’t know this,
flying about in their lime-green coat-tails, looking debonair.