Nature’s Bug Zappers

Like a fleet of miniature
Blue Angels,
cliff swallows
launch from the granite walls
of the Snake River Canyon,
zooming in and out of
mud-daub nests
to bring mosquitoes and gnats
to their cheeping young.

Sometimes, the tiny
kamikaze pilots buzz
car windshields
at nearby intersections
or skim along the ground
then vertically accelerate,
rising high into the air
as they zig and zag,
nabbing insects in flight
like radar-controlled
electronic bug zappers.

After performing their
daily aerial shows
in striking
tuxedo-black wings
and contrasting
pale yellow underbellies,
they might be
shocked to learn
that many people
consider them
to be common pests.


About Judy Grigg Hansen
I write poetry and nonfiction, and I am passionate about the people, places, and wildflowers of Idaho and the Northwest.

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