As a child I practically lived outside in the summer. We had no air conditioning then so we survived by staying outside. I remember getting mosquito bites, but it was no big deal. Sadly, in recent years, mosquito bites have become a big deal producing huge welts and frantic itching that even awakens me from sleep. So imagine my indignation when I was attacked by a mosquito the other night as I slept.

I thought of this incident when Christie Wyman (you can find her here) challenged a small group of poets to write a poem from another’s perspective. At first, I found it difficult to think of an object, a character, or a person whose perspective I could take. Then, I started scratching again and my topic became clear. Here is a draft of that poem:

Self-Talk of a Mosquito

You know,
I’ve been through a lot already in my life.
I’ve escaped dragonflies from above
and fish from below.
Now it’s my turn to feast.
Oh my…I’ve caught you sleeping.
Where should I begin?
First, let me just slide in here
Between your fingers…
This skin is thin—such a tender, delicate spot.
Here come the scratchers.
That was fast.
I’d better move on.
What about that sleek forearm
or the squishy spot on your tricep?
Can I possibly penetrate those tense, tight trapezius muscles?
I’m going to try. Here goes!
Good thing you’re still sleeping and don’t notice my voice.
This muscle is tough, but
you won’t miss the tiny bit of blood I take.
You’ll know I’ve been here
By the spit I leave behind.
It’s just a little anticoagulant to thin your delicious blood.
Scratching again? Scratching still?
Antihistamines, I’ve heard, might help.
Thank you.
You’ve been a most gracious host.

August 4, 2021

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Mary Lee. You can find her roundup on her blog, A(nother) Year of Reading. I hope you will join us for reading, writing, commenting, and celebrating Poetry Friday!

8 thoughts on “Self-talk of a Mosquito

  1. I love your draft! It made me laugh and your mosquito has such a personality. Writing from another viewpoint is an excellent activity with students or when a writer gets stuck. Thanks for the idea.

  2. Hello! I can’t find your name, Pelicans and Prose, but happy to meet you. You have channeled the mosquito very effectively here! “This skin is thin—such a tender, delicate spot.” Where I live in Brood X territory we are now plagued by oak mites dropping from the trees and leaving itchy itchy bites although I am no longer tasty to mosquitoes at all.

  3. I really enjoyed the humor here, starting with the title. I grew up with a lot of mosquitoes around, too, except for the times the “fog machine” would come around and spray repellent. We kids ran straight into it, delighted.

  4. You channelled this mosquito’s voice perfectly! I’m lucky not to be bothered by mosquitoes, but unlike Heidi and her oak mites, chiggers are my nemesis. It’s always something!!

  5. Mosquitos don’t bother me, thank goodness, but any “bite” from an insect seems to fit your poem’s voice, those tender spots so vulnerable in summer. Well done with the strong, gleeful voice! “Good thing you’re still sleeping and don’t notice my voice.”

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