Morning, Loretto Motherhouse, Late November
by Pauletta Hansel

Wasp, old friend
from yesterday, wakes too 
with the sun, first a wide swath of silk
draped against the far knobs,
now a pulsing orb
I lean away from in my chair
to save my sight.
The wasp navigates the screen
that keeps him from flight
and death, come evening
frost that has already chilled
the leaves from the sycamore
where dark birds alight, then swoop
as in one gathered breath
away. Oh wasp!
Your careful crawl toward
blaze of death 
from which, for all my pretty words,
I would not save you.

Pauletta Hansel is author of six poetry collections, including Palindrome
(Dos Madres Press, 2017), poems and memoir in response to her mother’s dementia. Palindrome won The Weatherford Award for Poetry, 2017. Her poems and prose have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, American Life in Poetry, and Verse Daily. She is co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Pauletta is Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate (2016- 2018) and leads writing workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond.

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