The Orioles darted to our willow tree,
flitting from limb to limb until
they deemed it safe to visit our feeder,
a glass of purple jelly nestled
beneath the foliage. Last week a gang
of bald-faced hornets invaded
the jam pot—bad guys who staked
an illicit claim. The grape scent
befuddled their brains and they
dove in. A few drowned, doomed
by their greed. The Orioles sped away
for Mexico, where I lived in college.
On our last night, my best friend
lured my lover to her with flattery
and laughter while I grieved.
Today my husband removed the feeder
to end the hornets’ orgy of death.
I’m glad. I would have waited
at the window long into autumn,
watching for that last flash of orange.