Stung

Kenneth Pobo

Jerry unwittingly plants a purple datura
on top of an underground hornet’s nest.
Out they come, stinging him
three times. He screams as he runs

to the house – the air conditioner runs
and an open can of fizzy water
(black cherry) goes flat on the counter.
A painting of a hummingbird could use
dusting above the TV
which is now off but later Jeff
will want to watch that Mary Tyler Moore
marathon which they will do since
they both love Mary. Last Christmas’s
advent calendar, all days open, still
rests on the mantle beside a red vase
that Jeff got in the hospital thrift shop.
That nice older lady, Harriet Something,
sometimes talks to him about
the Yankees if she’s not busy. Jerry
flings open the overstuffed medicine cabinet,
pops a Benadryl, wraps ice
from the ice maker in a towel.
Jeff presses it on his wounds

as Jerry rapidly explains what happened
and he didn’t get enough dirt
around the base of the datura
so will it grow strong and bloom
or wither away like that sad
white hollyhock behind the shed.