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Smoot's Bees, Again
by BJ Buckley

At dawn new sky's faint purple echoes in the hay
meadow—alfalfa full in blossom, its jasmine scent
intoxicating cloud above the wet Venice
of irrigated field. A cool wind rises in
the east, breath of light, bearing Babel choirs: bunting,
lark and junco, finch and sparrow, fox yip, dog bark,
soft bovine muttering from the sheltered gully.
Interrogations of diurnal owls skimming
the furrows for grasshoppers, farmer cajoling
his tractor—the chorus builds to sharp crescendo
of engine cough, then silence—no—soft underhum
of bees: sun warms the hives, the bloom, the green, the wet,
while early scouts return to waggle-dance precise
sweet narratives, the colony lifting as one
in pollen trance, ecstasies of propolis and
nectar pooled in tiny purple throats of flowers
that soon, too soon, will be mowed and lost oh, hurry,
while all the world is honey, while the queen feeds on
jelly, while in the fragrant lattice Paradise
is eager to be born.


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