Almost stung
Kim Triedman

In the tool shed, shucking peas.

A hornets nest
between the walls, just above
where her shoulder grazes the rafter.
She is 12; she knows. She can

feel them moving—
the steady whine of them
in her teeth. They haven’t

found her yet, but the sun
is hot and she knows they are
coming. Beneath

her arms: the shameful
seep of perspiration. Hands pale
still, and small. The peas

slip silently between her
fingers, like beads

of a rosary. Head
dropped, as if

in prayer.

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