A.M. Juster

Poet, Translator, Essayist

Fruit Flies

They are the best, as pest invasions go:

no bites and no disease, just clouds of small

tan smudges spawned in week-old grapes. Though slow,

they flit and frustrate like a knuckleball.

You kill a few, but not enough. You curse

as you’re outsmarted by their tiny brains;

bug spray could hurt you more than them. What’s worse,

you know that they are breeding in your drains.


Pour some wine into a dish, and wait.

They sense the sweetness, then the alcohol.

They cluster on the rim and hesitate,

but soon cannot resist your Riesling’s call.

They soak in joy, relax, then drink no more.

It’s no surprise; you’ve seen it all before.


(2011 Nemerov Sonnet Award finalist)

                    © 2018 A.M. Juster