This work comes from a student* in my field biology class. Part of the course includes students keeping a “field journal“, and that assignment allows an opportunity for students to express their thoughts and observations about nature in many different ways, from writing, to art, and poetry.
O squished mosquito, you omnivorous parasite,
Why could nectar not quench your hunger, like your male counterpart?
Why must you thirst for my blood?
Of course, you need blood for egg production,
But to what lengths will you go to continue your lineage?
Was it my personality that drew you in? Or simply my CO2 expulsion?
Your ultimate death has left me with no answers;
Only a bump on my skin filled with histamine and regret.
Your short life makes me itch to know more about who you were
…or perhaps that’s just the anticoagulant in your saliva.
While the swelling in my arm may decrease,
My pining for you never will.
What does this poem tell me, as an instructor?
It tells me that students can express natural history and biology in many different ways.
It makes me think that the student will remember the basics of mosquito biology a lot more than had this been on a multiple choice or short-answer examination.
It shows the power of allowing emotion to find its tendrils into science. We ought to embrace this a lot more.
*the student shall remain nameless until after the course is finished, but will eventually be credited appropriately