Magicicada name for the 17-year cicada Lord, when I am taken, will they put me in the ground? Will I dream the Eternity Dream over and over, I who am so alone? Perfectly dead, will I be an I then? Will I welcome holy darkness or wait in vain for light to strike my face and warm it? And will I apprehend familiar or unfamiliar footsteps treading on hallowed ground? * * * I remember when the cicadas came. We had been warned but no warning could prepare us for the tens of thousands tunneling upward, emerging from hard shells, their bulging eyes bright red, their bodies black. Stunned by light and time, at first they made no sound. Then, wings unfolding, they rose and joined the humming swarm. For weeks they sang. Their song was not a song we knew. It filled the days and nights unceasing. It was not human. And then it stopped. They left gold carapaces behind. They left a silence in the mind that deepens as the years go on. * * * Seventeen years! Deep in the earth there is no ticking time. They sleep like tiny gods below us, blind, sucking on roots, as we continue on, careless and preoccupied. Sweeping them up, I marveled they were ever here and wondered, as I do now, Will I see them again? Will I?