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Sunday, August 02, 2020


by Linda Gelbrich

A small yellowjacket joins me
at the patio table this morning,
absorbed in the pinch of sausage
I set aside on the tablecloth
a short distance away.

It wraps its body
halfway around the morsel,
its legs and jaw clamped on,
and the sausage begins to roll
toward the table edge.
I stop the rolling with my notebook.
The wasp hangs on.

The second time it rolls to the edge
both fall to the deck,
and the wasp hangs on
until it bites off a small piece,
flies away, then returns for more.

All this happens
while I finish breakfast,
get out my pen and begin to write,
wondering if I, too, could be
so absorbed in anything
that I’d keep on with my work
no matter who or what
sat near me,

no matter the rolling and falling
that surely would happen,
that I’d keep on, even
if bruised and battered,
that I’d want something so much
I could not be deterred,
would not give up,
as long
as I still
had breath.

Linda Gelbrich is a retired Clinical Social Worker and adult educator living in Western Oregon.   Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies, on notecards she creates, and in chapbooks.  Her spiritual reflections have been published in books of daily readings.