Bio Note: I am the author of several books including a poetry chapbook, Lit Blue Sky Falling, and Write From Life, about using personal experience and taking risks in writing. I’ve been a long-time teacher of creative writing. For me, poetry is a way of surprising truth out of the mysterious.
Bees in the eave — I learn the difference between hive and swarm. No reply from the beekeeper I hoped would rehome them. Keep these pollinators, our saviors. Our son was served those papers, called crying. She, a doctor, did she time it for the oncoming shutdown? Zoom court. Now he needs us, after all the secrets, and we can’t save him, but still. I wear the night-sky mask my friend sent me, but I’m angry at those in the store unmasked and not aware of the one-way aisles, even though just last week I too missed those yellow arrows. Here is where I should say something about the politics of the neglect, I suppose. We are a family of journalists and teachers and doctors. We have our pensions. What can I say, except listen, and be afraid. Now the swarm has gone from the eave but on the ground are the corpses, black bullets, beside the bedroom door as if the glass should slide for them. We hear the animals are thriving without us, so what about these our bees? Earthlings, I want to say, as if we came from the sky of my night-sky mask, we are only ourselves, owl and coyote and quail and javelina, pale creatures, and now pack rats, nesting in the sticks, bones, cactus joints, and shinies of our compounds. On earth in Texas, our son readies for his children. His new apartment faces a shooting range, and so I send a white noise machine. In the sleeping bag he took from the house, he sleeps on the floor. He bought a folding chair. Put this suicide number in your phone. Always there is more to the picture. I have raided my husband’s stash of peanut-butter cups, hoping he will not notice. Of course, I gave it to him in his Christmas stocking. And now it’s May, so there. What will all our sad rituals mean now? I come across the word waveson: goods floating up from a shipwreck, a bright, sleek word — my hand to my son? a soft watery word? Perhaps another poem. But here is only the furious cut of my mouth behind the mask, the fallen host at our back door, the pale, swollen ship languishing in the deep, cloud plague. So let them in: Animals, come.
©2021 Meg Files
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell her or him. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL