12. my nieces and the bees


My nieces bring me bees.

Strung on copper, hung from chains.

Each as different as my nieces

who do not know their own faces



While the bees   who dance in darkness

can map for any sister

the way home. Can fly on wings

stronger than maps.



My nieces build themselves homes.

With a lover, a husband, a wife.

Each love as different as my nieces.

Spring and summer, autumn honeys.



My nieces drink the tea I brew for them

in cups that were my mother’s

that fit on saucers my grandmother painted.

So many women.



I drop honey from a silver spindle

trail it like the scent of roses

beneath bee flight. All the bees are sisters.



My nieces breathe in harmony.

Their dances full of light

the light filled with wings. The bees

work in the late summer

while my nieces inhale   exhale.



In the late afternoon, my nieces

ready for leave-taking. Fill sacks

with food I baked for them,

as if propolis was held within.



My nieces’ wings are music.

Each composes her own melody

She turns and spins within

the honeyed light of August.



My nieces make their own honey

as yellow as their towhead childhoods

as golden as their dreams.

My nieces work together in my kitchen.



Early evening, and my nieces leave

for their own homes. Fold

their wings and walk upon the earth.

No one else knows that each

is part of something so much larger.



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