Mud Daubers (26)

//Mud Daubers (26)

Mud Daubers (26)

Peace-seeking mud daubers,
Lovers of good work,
Blue-black glinting
In the morning sun—

When, at age six, I climbed
The hot cinderblocks of the
Sow shed, and one brick tumbled,
Disturbing their labor—

Swarm! So many stings!
Instant admonishment,
Bare legs blistered with welts.
Moments later, in the farmhouse

My stone-eyed uncle asked me
“Why are you crying?”
For the same reason,
I now understand,

That a forty year old man
Could ask a child
Such a caustic question:
Acute suffering.

But more mysteriously,
I knew I cried also for the
Humming haste of the wasps,
Dutifully heuristic, adults whom

I respected, and had never
Intended to disturb.
The moment I fled, they calmed,
Returning to their parging,

Plastering pipes.
Pipes? Flutes!
Cylinders stuffed with spiders,
Beetles, flies. Feasts.

Look! Their waists,
Thin as bow hair;
Susurrant wings
Softly warning. Merciful.

Metallic musicians, conducting,
Near the reeds at
The edge of the marsh
Balling wet clay,

Mandibles filled with mud,
Pragmatic silence.
Futile, to proffer pain,
When grace is your language!

By | 2019-07-22T22:03:58-04:00 July 22nd, 2019|Farm|2 Comments

About the Author:

Forrest Pritchard is a full-time sustainable farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding a BA in English and a BS in Geology from William & Mary. Smith Meadows, his farm, was one of the first “grass finished” operations in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in the Washington DC area for two decades. Pritchard's books have received starred reviews from The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, NPR, and more.


  1. ellen polishuk July 26, 2019 at 9:41 am - Reply

    yup, another nice one Forrest

  2. marian s sulc-scambos July 29, 2019 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    yup! Ellen is right

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