Saint of beekeepers and beggars – Jennifer Clark

You were golden at birth, Ambrose,
a swarm of bees settled on your face,
leaving behind a single drop of honey.

We’ve heard this before, bees landing
on the breath of baby Zeus and Bacchus,
Virgil and Plato, foretelling sweetness of speech.

As sermons drip from your honeyed tongue,
we gather nectar, beat our wings ragged
to build the kingdom. Still, winter arrives,

this season of sadness in which we find
no flowers to forage. Unlike our bumbly
brothers and sisters, we do not hibernate.

In the hive of Christ, we stay awake, bodies
pressed together, shivering, generating heat
for our mother of honeycomb, candles, and bees.

Is everything we do for the queen?
The good news: we have more honey than we need.
Time now to share the sweet. Why is this so hard to do?

Jennifer Clark works part-time with Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo and over the years has partnered with librarians and bookstore owners on a number of cool projects that benefit youth. Clark is also the author of a children’s book and three full-length poetry collections. Her newest book, Kissing the World Goodbye (Unsolicited Press), ventures into the world of memoir, braiding family tales with recipes. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her website is

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