What Remains of a Wasp’s Nest

Mackenzie McGee

Perched on the sidewalk – your cavities

bubbled over in white bone, we all know

you are dead.                                                                           And still,


No one touches you for a week,

for fear that something angry and buzzing

sits inside, half-dead, impossibly


alive. When I gather you

your geometry resists division,

each compartment firm as stale bread,

molded by mothers’ mouths.


Nearby, a dead wasp is lodged

in the hexagonal holes of the patio table,

as if she were trying to come home.


When I hold your daughter in my palm,

I panic, and being thrown,                                         she flies

for the last time.



Mackenzie McGee is a writer and poet living in the Ozarks. She is a winner of the 2021 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Her work has appeared in Porter House Review and is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.