The Hornet That Stung Suzy and Her Friend

Look, I don’t care if you put a penny
over the sting I left you or not.
Big oaf with your giant flip-flop shoes
and your sweaty, pink arms waving
and your stupid hands slapping.
You and your friend Suzy, always
out gardening when those of us
who live here are just trying
to get our work done—
our horneting, our wasping,
our beeing. In the meantime,
the hornets were attacking Suzy
you say? Got news for you:
That was all me. I’m just
that much hornet, too much
for you and Suzy and all your
penny-hoarding friends.
Tell Dr. Mike I said hello, that
I’ll be seeing him one evening
very soon—very soon, when
he’s out on his driveway, all
unsuspecting, and I’ll be there
readying my venom, watching
for him with segmented eyes.

Copper Pennies and Bee Stings


Emerald Ash Borers Branch out from Ash Trees

The emerald ash borer considers its options,
now that it has eaten all the ash trees, or
they have been preemptively cut down, burned,
a funeral pyre for all the emerald ash borers
still left within. The emerald ash borer never
thought it would have to start over like this
in midlife, develop a taste for something called
a fringe tree, which it never noticed before,
so enmeshed was it in boring through ash. But
as it turns out, fringe trees taste pretty good,
all things considered, and the emerald ash borer
thinks it could easily complete its life cycle
within one, if it came down to that–which it
very well may. But this will not really affect
the forest diversity in New Jersey
, says
an entomologist, with confidence. After all,
the emerald ash borer would never target
forsythias or lilacs, those shrubs not having
enough meat on the bones, so to speak.
Looking back, the emerald ash borer has no
regrets about how it’s made its living–it can
only move forward, finding new trees to girdle
with its larvae, another generation to find
its way somehow, as we all must. As we all do.

For the PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 9. Prompt: A poem inspired by a news story. Here’s the one I used.


Fig Wasps

I tell you a tale as big as a kite,
and I fly it into your fig tree.

It rattles the wasps from their
work in your figs, their offices

of pollinating, egg-laying, death.
They are annoyed, and they sting

with the knowledge that
there’s no tale bigger than

their own. It is, they are certain,
the greatest story the sun ever told.



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