Sara Eddy's Tell the Bees is so deceptively quiet, you barely notice you've been drawn into a multi-layered world of creation, creativity, sorrow and a profound connection to the workings of the natural world. This is a chapbook about the poet's care for her bees, but it is also a universal story about the precariousness of existence and our persistent hunger for survival.
In late summer, feeling stronger,
feeling my blood going deep,
I put on two pairs of pants,
three shirts, giant mudboots
and a thick beekeeping suit.
When I cracked the hive
warriors bubbled out in a fury
with months of rage, and banged
against my helmet, stung my clothes
and died as martyrs. I sang to them.
I gave them a song of flourishing,
of plentiful pollen, nectar flowing like wine–
and scanning their landscape
I found the queen.
She was long and dark, and beetled
quickly across the frames, and her
furry legs mocked my bald head
and chemo scarf. I grabbed her
between my gloved fingers
and pinched out her angry life.
I gave the hive a new queen,
nestled between the frames
in a little wooden box, plugged up
with sugar: it would take them a day
to take in her smell and release her. [extract from Tell the Bees by Sara Eddy]
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Sara Eddy's poems appear in Tishman Review, Heartwood, and One Magazine, and are forthcoming in the Baltimore Review and Spank the Carp. Her book of poems about food and life, Full Mouth, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2020. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.