Bag worms are not worms, but caterpillars
who use their silk to glue together foliage
to create mobile, cone-shaped cases–dry,
brown, and enlarging as they grow–pods
hanging from plants and trees, sturdy homes
the bottom end with a small opening for frass
to fall to the ground, the top with a larger hole
for their feeding frenzy, for procreation once
they become moths, the winged males who fly
in search of the wingless females who after
mating, after laying hundreds of eggs, abandon
their bags to die as did their small-mouthed
mates. In their steady labor, it appears they live
determined to embrace the cost of commitment.