We have a table just outside our breakfast room and sometimes we eat out there. Lately the wasps have become a nuisance. They aren’t being aggressive but we clearly are in their way. They dart around us as though they are checking out our presence and feeling vexed about our intrusion into their territory.
I thought they might have a nest inside the umbrella but when I opened it there was nothing there. We’ve gone on eating at the table with a weary eye on our visitors. The only only structure near us is a small bird house. My sister Jule gave it to me the Christmas before she died. I’ve never hung it but for sentimental reasons keep it on the deck to think of Jule and because it’s a cute little house. The mystery was finally solved when I noticed one of the wasps size us up, circle our heads, home in on the little bird house, and fly in through the opening. Our bird house has wasps living in it. Not an uncommon thing in the animal kingdom, from humans to insects, to occasionally take up residence in opportunistic though unexected places.
So close to our breakfast room door it’s only a matter of time before we find a wasp inside. It will try futiely to return to this bird house condo, not understanding glass or why it can’t get past it. Unless I happen to find it and usher it out the door, it could wind up like the poem I published in THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET.
DEATH OF A WASP
Bumping at the windowpane
He fought against the solid air
That held him as a prisoner there,
But all his struggles were in vain.
Never comprehending glass
Clear as air that stopped him hard
And blocked his freedom to the yard,
Repeatedly he tried to pass.
Eventually he lost his fight
And perished on a sunny sill
Facing toward his freedom still,
Wings awry in broken flight.
He had a name, Trypoxylon,
A small but vibrant living thing
Who came in by the door in spring
And in a day or two was gone.
(c) 2003 David L. Harrison
Originally published in THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET
Wordsong, Boyds Mills Press