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December 14, 2007

Furious buzzing broke the evening’s stillness
as a cloud of wasps rose darkly from the hedge,
assailed us, climbed our arms and necks,
flew up inside our clothes, stinging, stinging.

I whirled wildly, arms flailing, flapped my shirt,
furiously stamping, swearing, screaming get off!
get off me you bastards!
as small and striped
they possessed me, tapered abdomens rising and falling.

Time slowed, minutes extended to eternity —
pain and heat, the movement of my limbs,
my shouts and their buzzing in a dry field,
my heels kicking up dust in the fading light.

by Polly Blackley

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  1. Christina Pacosz
    December 14, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Very vivid. Reminds me of when I was bitten by my hive of bees. Long story, but what a horrid experience, wasps or honey bees. And it set me up in later years to develop an allergic reaction to all such stinging creatures. I have fed hummingbirds nectar for many, many years, and have had to work my way around those terrible dry spells where many wasps/yellowjackets come to feed. Wasps are considered to be one of the earliest depictions of the goddess in various archaelogical finds throughout the ancient world.

  2. December 14, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Oh. Wonderful poem.

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