Shutting down for winter
The nest is smeared like builders' caulk
along the shed's eaves, whorl upon whorl
of a white and beige protectorate.
Rounded doorways welcome the in flight
of worker wasps fattening young queens
with the apple crop.
Later, abdomens throb in the cold,
narrow wings shiver.
No longer hunter gatherers,
the wasps crawl over the soiled meringue
of home, their feelers, yellow legs
and mandibles fingering a sacred braille.
Hélène is a practising psychotherapist and poet living in South Devon. She is joint winner of the Hedgehog Press Full Fat Poetry Collection competition 2020, and will have her debut collection The Plumb Line published in 2022. Her poetry can be found in numerous magazines and webzines. This year, she has been highly commended in the International Poetry On The Lake competition and shortlisted in the Wells Poetry competition.