Christopher Scribner


A Case of Hives?

Murder hornets have now entered the U.S. There have been several sightings
Vespa mandarinia, the Asian giant hornet, which can grow to the size of
a baby carrot.
—News items

The portly immigrant’s at home, with walls as thin as paper.
It’s there they roust this sometime thief and looter,
alleging his involvement in a willful, deadly caper.
The state assigns some WASPy prosecutor.

Her Vera Wang size 0 dress hangs loosely ’round her hips.
The courtroom is abuzz with protestations
and claims of sizeist profiling, as from the lawyer’s lips
spew numerous fat-shaming objurgations.

Presumption of one’s innocence should hold ’til it’s disproved,
but tabloids rush to dub him “Murder Hornet.”
A jury of his dozen pudgy peers just sits, unmoved;
they know too well of stigma’s sting, and scorn it.

The prosecutor’s droning on, but sees she’s ineffective;
she indicates she’s open to a plea.
Her court-appointed foe is happy with this new objective
and accepts the lesser charge: “Manslaughter Bee.”


The couple in their tattered chairs sit stolidly together.
Mere headlines pass for conversation—news & sports & weather.
With calm predictability re-branding what was boring,
this daily morning ritual’s an intimacy mooring.

The shelving in the parlor’s filled with books already read;
the DVDs lie dormant, and it seems that all’s been said.
They worry over market dips and grieve their friends’ demises
and tend to a relationship denuded of surprises.

Their bond allows them to complete their partner’s every sentence;
their common history’s replete with all forms of repentance
for old misunderstandings each is willing to excuse,
so rainbows born of stormy times survive with muted hues.

Each goodnight peck will leave on lips a subtle undertone
of As I lay me down to sleep, at least I’m not alone.

Christopher Scribner is a poet, humorist, satirist, lyricist, photographer, fledgling blues guitarist, and newly crowned professor emeritus of psycholology at Lindenwood University, which awarded his Covid-19 Rap a Songwriting Showcase award in 2020. He’s a Pushcart Prize poetry nominee whose work has appeared in The Quarterday Review, Euphony, Light, Parody, Untamed Ink, Rat’s Ass Review, Survey of Ophthalmology, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. He lives with his wife in an empty nest in St. Louis.