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September 18, 2023

My Father Comes To Visit Me, This Time as a Wasp

By Alan Walowitz

My Father Comes To Visit Me, This Time as a Wasp

Another Sunday late spring, and late again -- for nothing.
I head to the john for some morning relief --
I'll spare the details -- but my attention's hung over
from one-too-many sleep-aids
and too much worrying far into the night,
whether they'll work this time or not.
But a wasp--maybe a mud dauber -- scary and big,
but you'd say sort of graceful, if your pants weren't down --
walks right over the sill as if he owned it, with a sort of proud shuffle,
and through the window whose screen's been gone all these years
and the owner's never gotten around to replacing.

My own fault, I admit -- surely not the last time today --
but what the hell to do, a coward at heart,
and I know it's best to wait till almost dark
and they're back in their nests, cozy and wasp-warm
and you can sneak up with chemical foam in a can
and watch with joy as you spray, and they try to get away,
then dizzy to the ground,
like Zeros shot down by the good guys at the end of Flying Tigers.
But now he takes to the air and lights on the mirror
to have a closer look, not out of pride,
but to examine himself for damage, another tough day
in the world of whatever wasps do,
and I can almost hear him say a world-weary, Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy.
Then looks my way as I'm pulling up my pants,
and he seems sort of threatening and,
at the same time, not interested in me, or anything, at all,
like he's tired of giving a shit.

I take no chances, though, and quickly finish my business,
zip and run for the door, and shut it tight behind me
as if this whole thing never happened,
that it wasn't another Father's Day
and I miss even him.

Article © Alan Walowitz. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-06-10
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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