The handfuls of dead bees
she finds after the spraying
are not the worst part
for the beekeeper.
It’s the bees still struggling
that gets to her. Limping
in a circle like someone
who’s been spinning
on a tire swing for too long,
who then stands—dizzy,
nauseous, stunned.
Their wings shudder,
but they cannot fly.
These insects whose bodies
know the rhythm
of the blossoms,
the changing angles
of the sun, whose alchemy
gives us liquid gold,
whose love affairs
with pistils and stamens
give us apricots,
almonds, melons.
To witness is to be
dredged, she thinks.
What war do we think
we’re winning?