One Poem by Marda Messick

His Bees Fly to the Front Line
Soon it May Come to Him
The New York Times, 9/8/22

The beekeeper will not leave
his home or his children, the bees.

For him they fly into the firestorm
to the frontline fields, shock
of shells near-missing their wings,
fly to sunflowers trembling yellow
in bombarded earth, concussive air.

They return in the evening,
pollen-heavy, to the blue hives.

The bees are angry, quick to sting;
the booming infuriates them,
he must calm them with smoke.

The beekeeper spins the comb,
filters gun dust from amber;
artillery honey pours thick as pain,
slow as another year of danger.

Fierce honey on the tongue
tastes of home, the yellow fields,
sweet like the hum
of all he loves and keeps,
refuses to leave.

But also bitter. A tang of fury.
The outrage of bees.


Marda Messick is a poet and theologian living in Tallahassee, FL. Her work has appeared in Delmarva Review, Speckled Trout Review, The Christian Century, Literary Mama and other print and electronic publications.

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