It’s down. The hornets’ nest.
Now first sting of frost on the ground
and we see no threat
only the hollow where harm lived.
Everything the season housed has flown:
yellow jackets idling low in the grass,
bats fanning the dusk, the hornets
threading close to the roof.
When we were children
we’d leap from our beds,
arms flung wide. In the seconds
before landing, we didn’t know fear
resides in gravity or stars fall
into themselves. We imagined rising
over the roofs not like souls
detached from bodies, but as bodies
resisting the world. Light in my hands
when I lifted it from the eave, fervor gone,
no longer wadded in industry, this testament
to vanishings is almost too fragile to hold.

Michelle Gillett is a writing teacher, op-ed columnist, and freelance editor. She is the author of the poetry collection Blinding the Goldfinches, and lives in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.