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Yellow Jacket Thoughts

Stung five times this past week.


They live in secret homes under ground. You do not know they are around, but if you run a mower or weed-eater nearby, the underground may vibrate. Probably like an earthquake to them. Hey, they come out ready to kill! My husband has been stung while weed-eating. I’m hearing other stories about mowing.


I did not mow or weed-eat. Instead, I was watering an area with a water hose. Turns out yellow jackets don’t like my watering.


I watered a little wagon of sweet potato vines. I turned to spray the hydrangeas, which looked bedraggled. That’s when they struck. Attacked like B-29s! I had no chance of dodging them! I batted and swatted, but more came out of the hole.


I dropped the hose and ran. Man! Does a yellow jacket hurt! Five nailed me within seconds!


Even though my husband used gasoline and burned them out, I’m now aware of where they once lived. I remember and tread softly.


It has taken a week to recover. Here’s what I learned:


1. My legs can pump my heart out.


2. There is no such thing as a gentle spray of water to a yellow jacket.


3. You never know what lives in the underworld. I live in the overworld.


4. Flying things with wings either have instinct or brains—and it doesn’t really matter, if they are pursuing you. They don’t care if you are innocent or not. They take their job seriously. That job is to protect their queen. Maybe like those guys protecting the President.


5. Sure, it’s summer, and they are beautiful and golden on the computer, but they are not beautiful to me when attacking.


6. Also, they may have invisible metal teeth. Well, maybe.


7. I am more fragile than I thought.


8. Hooray that I had Benadryl, meat tenderizer, and Tylenol available! There are other things, but that’s what I had. I didn’t count white sheep or black crows. I tried to breathe. And I prayed. I prayed for God to help me THINK!


9. Prayer helps me in time of a crisis and otherwise.


10. I needed to be saved, and I knew where to turn immediately. That still feels good, as I look back on it. I don’t own a super-hero outfit. I couldn’t save myself from being attacked.


11. There are hiding places I never think about.


12. There are times when one person at a time or one suggestion at a time is all a person can take.


13. Sleep is probably disturbed if you’ve been stung. At least mine was, for almost a week. The swelling and burning did not go away until I had a steroid shot and an antibiotic.


14. My brain can run out of options, and I MUST turn to a physician who has knowledge I don’t have. They know more about yellow jacket wasps than I. Far more. Actually, I felt like I’d left my brain on the back porch after the event. I struggled to think ‘what to do’. I guess I was too traumatized to think.


15. I’m not a good victim. I was happy that evening when my husband declared war on yellow jackets on my behalf. There it is. No halo in my thinking. I don’t think I will ever write a poem about yellow stars or yellow beauty in the ground.


It could have been worse. I know. Just can’t hear talk about golden anything right now. I haven’t had time enough to recover. And I still don’t know how to see them before they see me! Horrifying.


My brain is just trying to remember that matches and fire starters are good to keep around. Write that one down with a red Sharpie.


I am sleeping again. Praise the Lord.


And it’s a miracle that I have not been stung by a yellow jacket before. I’m sure we’ve crossed paths before, and I paid no attention at all.


So many things I don’t know. Just a few reasons I have to depend upon the Lord God to get me through this world.


God bless,


Pat Durmon

patdurmon@ gmail.com

"Keep a lookout...." Binoculars at the Durmon home. Photograph taken August 8, 2021, by Pat Durmon.


Poetry Books by Pat Durmon

Blind Curves

Push Mountain Road

Women, Resilient Women

Light's and Shadows in a Nursing Home