In the soap dish of our shower
lies a plump bar of fresh soap
and a thin mauve soap sliver.
This is all that’s left
of a chance-bought souvenir:
a cicada-shaped soap.
French, perfumed by lavender,
emblem of the sultry
countryside of Provence.
My childhood summers played out
to a raucous Australian orchestra
of millions of cicadas
shrilling for love through the trees.
My summer nights were threaded
by the birth of cicada nymphs,
gathered by my father
and brought carefully inside.
We witnessed these slow brown creatures
push out of their dirt-encrusted shells
and transform into
shining creatures of the air.
Their glistening wings unfolded
like those of miniature dragons.
In the morning we let them fly
to take their chance at life and love.
The plump bar of soap each morning
tempts with the promise of easy lather.
But I prefer a meagre coat of bubbles
from this thinning sliver of soap,
perfumed by the fading scent of lavender
and the memories of
childhood and travel intertwined.