Blight or Blessing?

📷Pentax K30, ISO100, 30.6mm, f/5.0, 1/30 sec.📷
📷Pentax K30, ISO100, 30.6mm, f/5.0, 1/30 sec.📷

I watch in sadness
Helpless, impotent.
Unable to shield
My shade givers
From incessant infestation.

None spared;
Branch by branch,
Tree by tree,
They all fall victim
To infection.

None spared, save one:
Radiant, red apple tree
Standing strong in southeast corner;
Her green fruit awaiting
Imminent ripening.

Tall trees bend
Burnt-brown fingertips fall
Root cause escapes me
Until…I recall
Seventeen-year Cicadas!

Thousands, en masse,
Emerge, transform, bear eggs, die!
Progeny scratched in branch slits.
Nature’s pruning shears:
Dead, dried bough tips.

They fall to earth,
Egg sacs deposited – buried,
Future hatchlings harbored
My trees, healthy still,

Written in response to the following writing challenges:



100Word Challenge (, BOUGH 


10 Comments on “Blight or Blessing?

    • Thank you. I appreciate that you stopped by and I hope to take on the 100 word challenge more regularly, especially now that September is nearly upon us. I’ve always loved the back-to-school mindset and the feeling that a new phase is beginning! Thank for hosting such a wonderful challenge!


  1. “Burnt-brown fingertips fall…”
    Nice imagery throughout, but that line hits hard. I’m not a huge fan of fall/winter, so it evokes a deep sadness – and futility.
    Anyway, stopping by for the first time from S30P, and I must say this is a lovely piece!


    • It’s troubling until you realize that it’s not the Texan long horned beetle, but rather the relatively harmless cicadas. After the trees developed these browny ops…and for us it was many trees…the dead brach tips fell and our yard was dotted with these dead branches. I suppose we shall see the fruits of this repopulation in 17 years!😉


  2. Hopefully the new apple trees will be protected. Love how their is death and destruction yet you follow up with hope of recreation. Nice!


    • Thanks, Marie.
      It was so strange to see the tips of all the branches withering away … Then our tree guy said it was the cicadas and actually didn’t harm the trees at all…justntheopposite. I served as a good ‘trimming’. This was a fun prompt.


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