It was bordering on a summer
of boredom until I discovered
a wasp's nest in the woodshed.
Friendly visitors giving me a hand;
together we were picking plums
from a heavily laden plum tree
when wasps buzzed by casually
on their way to rest at dusk. Carefully
we removed ourselves from the scene.
But two days later, a one person disposal
squad, I armed myself with a can whose
contents it was stated would dispose
of silverfish, cockroaches and fleas.
So, too, I calculate should subdue a nest
of wasps. Insect sleepy sundown the odd
straggler to nest drops and beyond the spray
can I held in my hand, a mad buzzing;
one of the lancers at the door broke free.
Buzzing, buzzing round my head. This
is not the time to leave a task half done:
madly rushing for the antidote I'd not even
planned on. Raise the can for one last hit; and
stepping back into the yard, a single buzz,
my hands wildly swinging, grasping at
my collar, a rushing down the whole
twenty six flooded rapids I rafted
in middle age recklessness. Though,
not one but two guides to hand on that
suddenly remembered adventure. Again
the heat of fear, the heat of a sting;
working the odds: where, as then, luck
holds. The lemon on the kitchen bench
set to prepare the perfect pie for desert
spills its meagre coolness to my breast.
Benita H. Kape © 19.1.2011