Hornet’s Nest

In dusky ink, it seems to
hum with electricity, surrounded by
a swirl of constant motion.
That unseen malfunctioning bulb,
beyond reach and screened
by leaves, throughout the summer,
sound alone illuminates it.

Yet when an autumn storm
disconnects it from a threaded
tree socket, having been
muted by night’s lengthening grip,
almost weightless in hand,
that bare bulb turns out to be
an elegant paper lantern.

Now serving as a torch
tossed to ignite a pile of leaves,
unexpectedly aroused
into November’s frigid air from
its snug hibernation cell,
an angry queen wasp emerges,
electrifying the gloom.

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