City Girl – Poem

City Girl

Red wasps have taken over, swarming out
from nests tucked beneath the awnings
of the porch. He tells me not to worry,
that we can learn to coexist, that only fear
of each other brings us harm. Yesterday
I took the boat out, felt the current steal
strength from my hands, watched the yellow oar
sink into mud. Instead of rowing, I gave in
to the drift towards shore. Morning comes,
he takes his gun, heads out to conquer,
while I trace gravel roads past
the pasture fence, rough beams of wood
tied tight with twine and rusted nails. Every day
I climb this path of hills, as if rising
to some conclusion, some vital thing,
while his shots slam out like proclamations
against silence. This morning, a wasp flew out
from a corner of the kitchen, hovered over me
like doubt, like thoughts gone awry,
like some vital thing. I left my coffee,
half-sweetened, on the breakfast table as I ran.