While Looking Up at a Working Wasp, I Trip

 

While Looking Up at a Working Wasp, I Trip

How do these things I once barely acknowledged
now snare toes or twist ankles, causing me to stumble,

spill coffee and curse. Steps, rocks, pavement, curbs.
Door sills. No matter which, without provocation.

Solitary wasps mate not in flight but in the vicinity
of their nesting area. Three years ago a female

violated our unspoken agreement of mutual
existence; my arm purpled and ballooned

to twice its normal size, and I demolished her nest
for fear that attacks would become habit. Today,

another builds in the same spot. I stoop by,
beneath notice, as she labors to make room

for eggs fertilized with stored sperm from a single
drone. Such diligence should earn rewards.

I stroll to the mailbox and marvel at their ability
to manufacture wood pulp for nests, how

certain species avoid mating with siblings
on the basis of chemical signatures, and that

they voluntarily control the sex of their offspring.
Ah, the wonders of nature! Approaching the door,

I look up and observe the growing nest with
admiration, enter the house without stumbling,

and inhale the fragrance of the perfectly arranged
lilies. The books on the table entice me, so I

pour a glass of malbec and thumb through them
with great pleasure. Soon, after sunset, she will die.

 

* * *

“While Looking Up at a Working Wasp, I Trip” was published in MockingHeart Review in May 2018.

13 thoughts on “While Looking Up at a Working Wasp, I Trip

  1. Wow. I found this poem so breathtaking but also so sad. It really evoked emotion in me, it is so skillfully written, and the end so concise yet really packed a punch. I read it to my husband also and although he usually isn’t interested in poetry his reaction was also to say wow out loud!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Simply, I sit here, warmly attached to my chair, there’s a tear in my eye, and read your poem again, and again, and I look beyond my desk, feeling the nature of things, a clear sunrise blue sky, emanates through my open curtain, and I think, about how the wasp came back again. Your beautiful words, about the wonders of nature, inspire me to write about my world I live in, today……

    Liked by 1 person

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