There was a wasp’s nest in the shed. When discovered, the wasp nation was long gone, leaving behind a translucent sphere: a mini space ship or a conch shell nestled in the warm rafters. Everyone said it was a blessing that I had not known about it before. Unknown when it was being scouted out by some pioneer wasps. Unknown the spectacular arrival of the queen: the polishing of the mother ship. They knew, you see, my horror of insect infestations.

Even though the nest was empty I gave it a good spray with foam from the ironmonger’s. The ship melted to the waiting sheet of newspaper as if a capsized dinghy or a ridged, fat candle. I was relieved to find that not one wasp soul had been left behind in the abandoned globe. Despite my many misgivings and aversions, for days afterwards I felt so rude to have destroyed their object so painstakingly constructed, and so much wood pulp chewed and spat out. The wasps did not return to build a new ship, and spiders ruled the shed again.

Jude Brigley

Jude Brigley is Welsh. She has been a teacher, an editor, a coach and a performance poet. She is now writing more for the page.

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