The Sorrows of the Ladybird Beetle

Her pain is shown 

against the head of a match

for scale.


She vanishes in cold seasons: diapause. 


Named in the middle ages, 

when farmers prayed against pests. 

Her red carapace followed the scourge.


Red of the virgin’s cloak,

equal spots for joy and sorrow.


Beetles account for the majority of the biomass on Earth —

which accounts for her and husks shed in molting seasons.


Her colour deters,

associates with a bad taste —

bitter crunch of apples. 


Stranger among the aphids and hemiptera;

She is not a true bug with mouthparts that pierce.


Clade of beetle, that one ancestor.


She has a segmented heart,

and bleeds in self-defence, by reflex, 

without puncture.

Larissa Andrusyshyn completed an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University. Her first book, Mammoth (DC Books, 2010), was shortlisted for the QWF First Book Prize and the Kobzar Literary Award. She lives in Montreal where she facilitates writing workshops for at-risk youth.