Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why I am afraid of Bees

Photo taken this afternoon in our yard.

When I was little
I went into a house my
father was building.
I rocked in a little
red rocking chair he had
made me. On the
back of the chair
my father had painted
my name. I rocked very
fast. As I rocked, I hit
an empty box with my
feet. Soon I felt a terrible
pain and saw a bee climbing
slowly down into the box.
I cried as my father put
chewing tobacco over the
poison. He told me the
bee would die now because
he had planted his stinger
in me. A wasp can sting over
and over and still live, he said,
but not bees. I thought of
the bee climbing into the
darkness of the box to die,
and I was glad.


Jim Matthews said...

You know, I'm a little out of place in Boston, being a southern gentleman who chews tobacco. It just occurred to me that I could make friends by offering to heal bee stings. haha

I remember when I was first stung by a bee and my grand-daddy, bless his soul, did the exact same thing. I thought tobacco was gross. Now I keep a dying economy alive (syntactical ambiguity intentional).

Anonymous said...

Love the poem, esp. the image of you as a child in the red rocking chair. The pain of a bee sting is dreadful for me, too, for everyone? I have never been sure. I always get the impression that people expect you (as an adult) to bear it in silence while continuing whatever work you were doing as if nothing had happened, when the truth is that you are in agony. The last time I was stung the redness covered the top of my foot, and the pain kept me up most of the night. Teagrapple

emmapeelDallas said...

I understand the fear of bees, but strangely, although I've been stung, for the most part, they don't bother me. I've had them walk on the palm of my hand, then fly away. I'm not sure why...for what it's worth, mosquitoes love me.




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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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