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The Bees

Read by the author

What came of fire was fire
And then, more fire, singeing the desert air
Sick-orange and sunset-red a hundred days.
What came of fire were hordes
With computers, wading in ash
Designing new campaigns:
A supersonic hatred, a sash
Of violence, tightening everywhere.

Our eyes are bloodshot from the flares.
Who robbed the time of sleep?
Dry insects scratch at the corn-husks
But find no sustenance. The wind that blows
Our farms away comes from a deep
Hole in ourselves, a hole we carry as we
Hurl our bodies about between stars
And when we lie down flat, as in our graves.

I told myself this is a time
For mending and for peace, a time for
Coming home. I had been walking
An hour or so, quarreling with all I knew,
A quarrel to no end. Stuck in despair
I stood. Then, heading in, I chose
The track that led by the barn, and there
Rounding a curve by the broken bridge
In the narrow space between two wars
I came to a stop in long green shadows
Amazed by the music of the bees.