Moving the Hive – Sara Eddy

Only one hive made it
through this furious winter
of subzeroes and wind chill
bitter disputes and
marital strife; they were
the hardiest, I guess,
the colony with a queen
bent on survival,
in mad love with her brood.
After dividing and divisions
we agreed I’d keep the bees
and move them down the road
to a friend’s garden: wildflowers,
mulberry trees, peace.
So I smoke this last hive
and talk to them gently:
I tell them they’re strong.
I stop up their entrances,
and strap the hive together,
then lift it, heavy with buzz,
into the back of my car.
It’s not far, I say: you’ll be
fine, you’ll be fine. Finally
in their new green world I lay a spray
of pine in front of the entrance,
and let them free: as the workers
leave the hive, they crawl
through the needles, an unfamiliar
must-smelling maze,
and they pay attention–
they live with intention–
and memorize the way back
to their new life.

Sara Eddy is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Tell the Bees (A3 Press, 2019) and Full Mouth (Finishing Line, 2020), along with a book of ekphrastic poetry written in collaboration with the photographer Dominique Thiebaut. She has published widely in literary journals: some of her poems have appeared recently in Threepenny Review, South85, Raleigh Review, and Ekphrastic Review. She is Assistant Director of the writing center at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts, and works in close collaboration with the librarians in the special collections at Neilson Library, especially on collections centered on consumerism, food & cookbooks, poetry, and beekeeping. She maintains her own collection of vintage cookbooks for use by food writing students at Smith. She lives in nearby Amherst with a teenager, a black cat, and a white dog.

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