Two by Barbara Brooks
spent last winter wrapped
in a brown tissue paper bud. Sun
hangs around longer and I shed
Hiding fall’s treasure, April
flowers ripen into pyramids
of hardened hull. My spring sheen
darkens into summer green.
Yellow poplar leaf rests
in my green net; waits for wind
to free it. Red bud hearts trickle
to their roots. In the shortening
daylight, Downy woodpecker caches
a nut in my bark. Gray squirrel dangles
from the end of its wooden road
and harvests seeds.
Spider spins autumn silk
between my leaves only to be
plucked out by pine warbler.
Old winter sun finds me brown and
curled against the wind. Only oak
leaf’s rattle keeps me company.
Once again, Sun warms
my limbs. I feel a new leaf nudging
from below. Time to let go.
~ ~ ~
black crepe-paper wings,
antennae tipped in orange--
they come every autumn.
I sweep the floor, turn around,
there one sits as if risen
from between the cracks.
Tap, tap, tap—I look up,
another flies at the ceiling.
One, languishing in the
sink’s food strainer, startles me.
The fliers migrate from living room
to kitchen. Some, quite still,
near death I presume. The dog, who
inspects everything, ignores them.
I light paper and pine to smoke
them out of the chimney, put saran wrap
over the floor vents, tape the spaces
between the window and sill.
I have yet to find a nest.
I slap a yogurt cup over each wasp,
slide the envelope underneath, release
them outside. Most wander on the rail.
Limb by limb, legs curl under, wings
fold over the back. Antennae
stiffen, the wasp slips into death.