No microchiropteran ever complains
when the rawness of autumn creeps into the day,
his arthropod prey having fluttered away.
With his pals he piles into a cave, then abstains
from all food while he hangs like a fuzzball. The pains
he’s taken to gain a few grams in the May
of his bug-catching bustle will, hopefully, play
in his favor, reviving him after the rains
and the blizzards retreat. Then, with luck, when the leaves
begin to uncurl in the bright vernal suns,
diaphanous pinions unfurl, and the sheaves
of packed bodies disperse into twilight’s cool breath.
Moths and beetles, look out! For exuberance runs
intense in his blood as he seeks for your death.
Bouts-rimés on Keats’s sonnet, “After dark vapours.”
(Won The Oldie’s 2013 annual bouts-rimés competition.)