Is it a greater mercy
to pinch the injured wasp
between folds of two ply
rather than let Bella, roused
in an ancient dance —
paw and tap and bark and paw,
committed to her brute duty
as guardian of the floorboards?
Which is the lesser killing —
quick death in the wrong abode, or
the slow denial of teeth and tongue
prolonged in a clay bowl of kibble?
I don’t know. What I do know is,
it popped like I was snapping off
the tip of a green bean,
and Bella retired to her mat