Barbara Rehus

Cicada Song
wood, paper, ink, satin, glass, brass and electric fan

I am one of ten children. Our father was a troubled man who became more so over time. Only the older siblings have any memories of sweet attention from him. Alcoholic and abusive, he wielded an unreasonable power until the day he died.

At his death, I was unprepared to see what he had become. Repeatedly, I was drawn to him. How could this shrunken remnant have held so much power? Where had the power gone? It occurred to me that my father was like the cicadas. Their shrieking can drive you mad, but later, when all is quiet, you will find only empty shells.

Cicada Song says goodbye to my father, as well as to the power he held over me. The cicada shells tell him that he can no longer harm me, but the music of the wind chimes tells him I remember the troubled man who once could allow himself to be gentle.

© Barbara Rehus