My House First

Catherine Arra

Hives nested in clapboards
rise with chimney steps
where years of rain-rotted wood made gateway
to apiary heaven, homeland security
bliss until lethal rain, jets of sting, convulsive retching
of one and then dozens, sending all
into swarmed confusion, never to know
why this act of terror.

Honey bees ringing the birdbath
said it was hornet genocide
and trembled.