Eastern Carpenter Bee · Old Carriage Trail

Whitehall Terrace

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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,
tree
     
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.

Truly,
within every pollination
lies the power
     
for inspiration,

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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