Palatinate poetry: The Wasp

By Sorrel Briggs 


A wasp flew in through my window,

So I did what I was taught to do;

I trapped it under a glass.

Time passed as I watched it struggle and writhe

And stumble and blunder and try to fly and

Falter, bemused by the newly altered light

And the looming pair of watchful eyes

That blurred into swarms

Through the gleaming, taunting walls

Of its octagonal prison.


I didn’t mean to leave it there

But my stare withdrew,

Slipped out the door,

Arm-in-arm with indifference and

New obligations.

The remains confronted me later, like an accusation:

The coiled form, shrouded

In its shrivelled yellow jacket,

The crumpled legs and ashen wings,

Detritus of a life.


Later that night, I dreamt of glass cages

And swathes of white light –

And I trapped beneath it all,

With the walls sealed tight,

Of a prison of prisms

Splitting the waves,

Of a constant hollow drone

And a tightness invading

My chest;

The light, the noise, and the suffocation

Waltzed me into seasickness.


A week later, I spotted a wasp in the sky:

As I passed idly by, I saw it swoop and

Dive with a burning purpose,

Right into my eye,

And then retreat into the blue;

So precise was its target that

I knew it accused.


Image by Blake Burkhart via Flickr Creative Commons 


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