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Ishmael The Wasp

By John I. Blair

“And I alone am left to tell the tale.”
(Herman Melville, Moby Dick)

The solitary wasp lingered all day
Around the clean-scraped roof beam
Where just the night before its nest had hung.
Now haunted by a lingering poison taint,
The boards breathed a tale of horror.
That evening all were resting on the nest,
Vigilant for their pupaes’ safety,
But unsuspecting of attack,
When suddenly, from the dark below,
Came a blinding beam of light
And a suffocating stream of oily toxin!
All screamed silently and dropped
Dying to the pavement underneath
Save one, who flew to fight
The unseen foe, but unavailing and too late.
Choking fumes, cataracts of water,
Then a ravaging broom,
Devastated everything this remaining wasp
Held sacred. Nothing was left,
Nor reason given. Just blind doom.
And after hours of looking
For what had been bereft,
At sunset the solitary wasp flew away.

©2002 John I. Blair

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