The Wasp by Nadia Clement

Clearing my dishes
I hear the sound
Of a wasp
Falling into my lemonade

The sugar drew her in
Like Icarus to the sun
Now she writhes on her back
In spasms of useless self-preservation

If she were a ladybug
I would dip my finger into the glass
And save her without question

But she is a wasp
And touching her is danger for me
Why risk the soft flesh of my finger
For her little life?

I get up from the table
And look out the window
Until the buzzing stops
And I can fling her body in the sink

Later that day, on the way to the mailbox
I feel a sharp prick
And reach down to pluck a dead wasp from my ankle
Where it had stung me
A proud red circle appearing in the sunlight