Carrie Green

Robbing the Bees


Brother, one day the grove and hives will empty:
the neighbor's trees frozen back to stumps,
our father's bees scattered across the scrub.
But today the bright scent of orange blossoms
reaches our patch of sand, and the bee yard
teems with thieving wings. Our father works
the hives, white shirt buttoned to the neck,
hands glove-clumsy. Veiled, he's mysterious

as a bride. Brother, we'll want to recall
the pollen-dusted light kissing scrub oak
and sand pine, the needles smoking in tin,
the bees' stunned flight as our father offers
a taste of honey on his pocketknife.
Our tongues steal sweetness from the rusted blade.