Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Ballad of Missing Bees"
by Erica Mazzeo

I never thought I would miss the bees
This year dormant,
they have not shown.
There is honey,
but it does not belong to them and
the buzz from radio lines is the only outside noise.

The queen of the bees, has left too -
Retreating from her hive,
reading up on how to be a doctor,
shoot a bow and
or navigate the Nile.
So sick of
Sacrificing her life, for sweets and
the men who crowd
around her.
Even the honeycombs themselves,
a thousand hollowed gems and cylinders alike,
sound off chimes on an empty porch.

The people of Toledo have noticed
the missing bees -
another sign that death is ready and waiting
breathing his heavy breath behind each curtain or

I am reminded of my father
his time in the army, long gone.
Leaving the family farm to nurse soldiers and
keep appendages soft and
circulating in the mid solstice winds.
Writing love letters home for the
disabled veterans to
their wives -
reassuring their wait
by the snow window white.

And then one fine spring day
It was reported to my mother that
he suddenly went missing.
When there was no trace of him, in
seam or brush,
in my mind I knew
never be back.
I was seven years old then
and things would never be the same.

When the bees went missing, it was similar.
The petal that has collected pollen
cradles each yellow ball as it eagerly waits to feed.
But there are no bees this year and
my father never returned -
And somehow I am still waiting like the flower's pistil
Holding on to just some pictures -
Holding it all together.

And I fear that I will be waiting a long time
Like only a lily,
An early morning star
turned upwards towards the sky -
so white, and longing.

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