After Chris’s last poem, a reader and fellow tasting room employee left a comment asking for a poem about fruit flies. Chris, ever ready to please his reading public, obliged with the below.
By Poet Laureate Christopher Watkins
The Persistence of Irritants
We began by just ignoring them, until
comments became too numerous;
we moved to disclaimers, explanations,
everywhere, but they’re harmless—
Behind the scenes, we tried everything,
even resorting to very expensive dessert wine
left out for them to expire in;
In every sweetened dish they capitulated,
but they did so too in bottles, in decanters, even glasses!
How many times did we discreetly turn and re-pour,
no comment made, having spotted their dreaded sign,
their singular mark, afloat in our luminous liquids?
Too many to count. And still their numbers rose, the math
Once, I thought the wall itself was moving.
We moved to covered spittoons; they got in,
there they stayed, until cleaning time—
A mushroom cloud exploding into air,
a drunken woozy eruption of seasonal souses.
Finally, the harvest; no more sugar in the air,
no more crazed mating, no more sealing every single open
Still, a few remain, despite the cold. Stragglers,
the unmated, we are talking about fruit flies, right?