Sleeping Bees

Do not disturb the sleeping bees that swell
a trunk the shape of an arthritic joint,
cling like poison ivy to malignant
bark. Hold your breath as honey-devils tell
their nightmares not to take them into hell,
past the colonnades of dark trees – they might
wake, fly up into a gust at a slight
involuntary gesture. Be careful.

Do not disturb the bees in me, soft mound
of fragile wings, furled and breathing softly.
Remember the hysterics, how they harm,
the rising of the angry stings, the sound
of bitter crying on the lawn – mostly
tears of anger. The storm before the calm.

(First published in The Poetry Porch, The Sonnet Scroll, 2016)