The buzz

American Life in Poetry

What haunts this loose son­net by Car­rie Green is loss, antic­i­pat­ed loss, but loss, nonethe­less. Yet, what emerges is an ele­gant ​“pre-ele­gy.” A ten­der anthem to a father and to the sweet­ness he rep­re­sents, an anthem made more inti­mate by the choice of addressee: ​“Broth­er.”

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 scent of orange blossom

reaches our patch of sand, and the beeyard

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.