The Hornet

There is a hornet flying around inside my office
Ridiculously late in November
Its options seem limited
I consider liberating it into the fall air and nature
But I imagine it will die there, cold and alone,
Plus it has chosen to be here
And does not seem terribly distressed or frenetic.
Nor am I.  It is fall
And there is a hornet flying around my office.

I barely attend to my visitor
Nor it to me
It mostly hugs the walls
Reading book titles
Considering the ways in which I pass my days
The window is slightly ajar to modulate the heat
I feel the air sucked in and sucked out
The hornet must have also
It is warmer in here
And different having company
As we go about our business, our tasks,
Our explorations.

Next morning, when I arrive in my office,
The hornet is lying dead on the carpet at the foot of my chair.
It could not have chosen a more obvious location to perish
I do not believe this is an accident
Lying on its back, one wondrous wing in the air
So still and small and prominent
I pick it up and hold it in my hand
Marvel at its construction
How stiff and still It seems
So impossibly put together
Carried on its bier
To the potted cactus on the windowsill
Where I say a prayer for the hornet’s soul and my own
And dump the body onto the rocks
Compost for the living.