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Bed Bugs

by Ken Sanes

We are designed by nature to be surprisingly flat.
We hide in folds in your bed or between this and that.
Our lives are quite simple; we are free from doubt.
We are what we are; we know what we’re about.

We slink across bed sheets without making a sound.
It’s your sleeping body we’re after; we gather round
and pierce your warm flesh with a fang like a straw.
Drink and be drunk: its nature’s first and second law.

It is our instincts that tell us to suck your blood up
as we converge on your body for our early morning sup.
Then, fattened for growth, we dash back to our fold.
We’re shy all the time except the times when we’re bold.

We’re the keepers of secrets, our life cycle is stealth.
We steal liquid life -- you’re our flesh and blood wealth.
And the only sign of our bites may be a bumpy rash and itch
as you wake up bewildered as to what, when and which.

But before you judge us, think of some of your own
politicians and companies who reap what they’ve sown.
And if you’re suffering a hardship like poverty or rash,
it may be because they’ve sucked up your cash,

since they sup when they’re hungry and sup when sate;
they sup when it’s early and sup later when it’s late.
And they drink up your life when you’re lost in slumber,
as they engage in their supping and virtual plunder.

Yes, we know it’s shocking and a little bit strange,
but it is kept in balance with an uneven exchange.
So when you swat us we know that it’s not about hate:
we expect to lose blood when we’re supped by fate.

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