Eastern Carpenter Bee · Old Carriage Trail

Whitehall Terrace

by Sylvia Clark

Every year,
carpenter bees return
     to their woodwork,
expanding the cracks
in the carport rafters,
like ice 
to a stone,
like the pitted, filled cavities
of the rough quilt cement entrance. 

But do the bees know wood
from what we rely on?

Do they not have their own constructions?

Do they know beam
from crucifix,
from church? 

Any good carpenter does.

But do they? 
In actuality,
every carpenter bee is holy,
as holy as honey,
as holy as the lion's skull,
the carports like the emaciated remains
of a beast.

In this Rust Belt town,
carpenter bees are oxygen.

within every pollination
lies the power
for inspiration,

with decay
in every baby's breath,
we carve 
into what was never ours
to begin
what we call home.







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