Carpenter Bee

The male defends the Adirondack chair all day,
dappled light reflecting off his plump black rump.
His yellow face wears a look of apian concentration
on a day so gusty it’s hard to maintain position:
six inches off the faded red paint and popped nails
of the chair’s left arm. We’ve become pals
while I draft my way out of a writing slump.

Mostly he stares at my face, trying to suss
me out, except for his brief, buzzy forays
to rout an interloper. When he flies away,
I miss the dangling legs, pert black antennae,
the blurred wings and their incessant hum.
Then he comes back, faithful as a puppy,
and we work together in the afternoon sun.

After the Support Group

The widows return to their downsized
lives: one to plan a trip to Rome,
one to browse real estate ads online,
another to the old place, where they spent
forty years raising a family. She will park
the car under the red maple they planted
when the twins were born, stopping just
inside the split-rail fence. The new owners
hear the engine idling. He’s fine with it.
She thinks it’s sad the old woman still can’t
pass this driveway without pulling in,
before backing into the country road and
proceeding to the small house that hasn’t
once, in five years, ever felt like home.