Robert Hershon


Do not aspire to be a carefree mayfly
The mayfly lives just one day

And it might not be a good day
despite the sincere wishes
of the other mayflies
It might be black of sky with
pounding rain and birds
of relentless hunger

So you might consider moving on
and becoming a june bug
buried in the mud and secure
with your seventy loving eggs
until light penetrates the dark
and shrivels you up

What now? There are no
July bugs — You might
just try staying human

Robert Hershon's 15th collection, End of the Business Day, was published this year. He has been co-editor of Hanging Loose Press since its founding in 1966. His awards include two NEA fellowships and three from NYFA.