(April 29, 1947 / 1947)

Yellowjackets

When the plowblade struck
An old stump hiding under
The soil like a beggar's
Rotten tooth, they swarmed up
& Mister Jackson left the plow
Wedged like a whaler's harpoon.
The horse was midnight
Against dusk, tethered to somebody's
Pocketwatch. He shivered, but not
The way women shook their heads
Before mirrors at the five
& dime—a deeper connection
To the low field's evening star.
He stood there, in tracechains,
Lathered in froth, just
Stopped by a great, goofy
Calmness. He whinnied
Once, & then the whole
Beautiful, blue-black sky
Fell on his back.

by Yusef Komunyakaa

Comments (2)

Great imagery. I detest wasps of any kind. Had some in my lawn buiding for years, and then some ground wasps in my lawn. They all looked like yellowjackets, but i have been stung by some black ones near my first house. I liked the horse part of the poem too. Good job.
Wow! Some wonderful images conveyed here! I really like this poem!