It seems I now see symbolsscattered everywhere. Like the nightmy husband called me overto look out the second-floor windowto the courtyard below, wherewe could see our hive boxesstacked in the ivy bed, illuminatedby the Harvest Moon. There, the lighton the outside of our house and the copper beeornament staked inContinue Reading

The bodies of the dead are carried,massed in their final resting place,laid away from the hive, unburied. This task falls on shoulders wearied—Mahogany boxes, wooden faces.The bodies of our dead are carried. Humans go below ground to be buried.Bees are piled above, in the shade,laid away from the hive, unburied.Continue Reading

came from nowhere, descended in a dark swarm,surrounded the stacked wooden boxes.Zinging hums in heated crescendo—they crawled over the surface, crowding white paintto brown, clustered in combat with our bees,trying to fight their way into the home hive.We stood at the window and watched, helplessto halt the carnage, to saveContinue Reading

Your brother posted a pictureof his tattooed arm: a stenciledhoneycomb, black hexagonsinked around his flexed bicep,a math equation written in your handin a space between joined cells.He said this tattoo commemoratedyour birthday one year after your death.I live six hundred miles away. I’ve never shownmy bee poems to him, orContinue Reading

Nurse bees are a special breed of workershatched by some unknown alchemyinto nurturing roles. They feed the needybees’ bread, honey and pollen mixedwith royal jelly secreted by their own bodies.Nurses visit often, examinelarvae deprived of food, give moreto those who signal the most distress. Nurse sisters. Duty-bound by natureto sweetenContinue Reading

I regret that I spent most of our yearstogether—over twenty-five—keeping scoreon a chalkboard, carefully recording each errorhe’s ever made. He earned the most markswhen he raged unfairly against our son—& I tallied with a heavy hand the coldcriticisms of my body. Callous, cruel.I knew as soon as the page filled,Continue Reading

—I am the spent Queen, this crown tarnishing.I’m aware you prepare to replace me.You see, I sense royal jelly stirringin the nearby cell, some lowly beesoaking in the bath, her body jeweledas she receives. How quickly I’m deposed.Since I can no longer produce a brood,my body shrivels to nothing. Disposed.Continue Reading