Wasp nest

The Acer, a burning bush 
has fizzled out. Curled leaf litter
settles for deciduous decay.
I'm tidying away
all the bloom and carnival
of the growing year.
I'm hoping against hope
that winter will not come late
ice after rain, to decimate.

There are wasps still residing
under roof tiles. Still foraging.
They leave like an expeditionary force
several wings, another and another
with pauses in between. Far far
fewer than summer's raiding parties.
There must have been thousands then.
But now Autumn has progressed
they too begin to fall.
Through the porch light
Yellowjackets, only half ablaze.

Four o'clock and with the gloaming
a rest from garden chores.
The fliers return. I stand as if to check them in
the way returning aircraft are counted
after bombing raids, dog fights in the sky.
First the luckier ones full of pluck
the later few on a wing and prayer
some in the water, by fire, pulverized.

O God, it feels so cruel
to let your creatures perish thus.
The wasps are weak from hunger.
In the nest, there's a gathering chill
I shall miss them after all.

A poem initially inspired by Dora’s ‘Epiphany in the Time of Holiday‘ but I suddenly saw things differently, in quite another time so am linking up with Michelle for another Open Link Night