Russell Reece

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Yellow Jackets


 I see them now,

At the edge of the woods

In a dusty beam of sunlight.

Translucent, swirling dots

Clustered low over the carpet,

Erratically floating,

Circling, looping.

Some lift up and zoom away,

Others swoop in and hover,

Before descending

Through the decaying leaves,

Into the dark, wicked remnants

Of an old pine tree.


I see them now,

Near yesterday’s dropped pile of branches

And the red flip-flop.

Oblivious of the debris,

They circle over the spot

That continuously absorbs and spews them out

Like carbonated bubbles.

Closing my eyes,

I hear the dry crunch of the papery wood

Collapsing underfoot.

I’m stumbling forward again,

My bare leg buried to the calf,

Poison needles in the ankle,

Darts of fire behind my knees, on my back,

My nipple, my wrist, my neck, my groin.

Twenty-seven frenzied, flailing, clothes shedding, slapping,

Heart stopping seconds.

Twenty-seven fiery wounds,

Still throbbing.


I see them now.

Russell Reece

Bethel , DE




Page last updated  09/07/2010