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.