To Bee Or Not To Bee
Four hundred and five pounds;
a few ounces for every twenty-five snowflakes
fallen to the icy ground.
The hive buzzes to keep warm,
jeans and beanie caps,
rubber gloves save the tools from harm.
The Queen’s right hand, or rather, the Left,
his feet weighted as he steps,
chip of the shoulder and wings clipped,
whenever his throne is left.
He approaches the youngest Bee,
hiveless and born of a different tree,
listing the combs for him to clean
while the Queen feasts and feeds him the least.
He asks of himself,
“How would I rather bee;
guided to starvation,
or left outside to freeze?”
Eyelids heavy, armpits sweaty,
and a headache to bounce a Betty.
I hobble over dusty concrete,
yellow stripes faded like my fellows
on a Friday night.
Rusty metal drums,
a few old bumbles festering as Lefty puts on a show
for some new investors.
Our best guess is an investment into some new jester’s hive,
overtime is available;
expect to bail on life.
That look in his eye,
a dark storm clearing to fields of green,
papers laid in a row.
twenty left to go.
Another bent down day spent clowning in a box.
Back hurts because I’m spent;
I fall to peel the socks
from my feet. Three days off ago,
I finished up the week,
and now my eyes are twitching.
I chose to live life over getting a full night’s sleep.
Watched the TV, wrote, tried to plant some seeds,
shoveled with a hunched back,
snow and forty-four degrees.
Zombies were slain when I played video games,
even picked up a Steve Jobs book,
gave that tome a read.
Now it’s Tuesday night,
the sky’s blacker than the stripe of a bee;
I feel as though I’ve wasted all my time off on me.
Now it’s back to the grind,
in three days I may find relief,
but after, and only after,
Caucasian hands blacker than soot,
body draped in the same blue rags
that I put on the past three days,
brain going kaput when Lefty asks
whether or not I can stay today.
“Oh-Tee’s available, are you?”
No excuses come to mind,
I find only a memory of him tellin’ me
it’ll help my Pee-Cee.
“Yeah, I’ll stay,”
wishin’ for a way to get a raise,
but when you’re only paid thirteen,
you’re overlooked like the sea.
Mozart plays from my pocket as my false smile fades
with the style of a blazing rocket,
the Queen’s brave pocket pal
stomping loud in search of who else shall buzz
their Friday away.
This concrete box
slowly takes the form of a shallow grave in my head
as I scoff aloud at the thought
of slavery being dead.
A cold night gives way to a bright and sunny day.
The Bee buzzes through the hive,
yet it doesn’t feel the same.
For years now he’s been working here,
pouring honey and cleaning husk.
Lefty expects a gleaming smile,
effort from dawn to dusk.
No overtime today, tells Lefty he won’t stay.
Lefty pouts and tells the Queen,
they feel some sort of way.
In between two broken trees
is where this hive resides.
Any day the boughs may break;
the hive will not survive.
There are meadows, pastures, and flowers
beyond these walls.
To find them one must leap with faith,
unafraid to fall.
A new day is now dawning, one cannot ignore the call,
so better get a move on,
summer always turns to fall.
A blanket of clouds insulates the sky today,
The sun shines through the bee’s smile
when he tells Lefty
that he’s quitting.
A storm inside the big guy’s mind
brings a scowl to the surface.
He carries his pout to the Queen Bee’s lair,
and she drops all her purses.
The Bee’s yellow stripes worn down a grayish black,
his back in pain and his wings all cracked
like the boughs upon which this hivemind sits,
but there’s nerry a doubt in his mind.
In a mere two weeks’ time,
the concrete will be left behind;
the winter has passed.
Freedom is mine.
Not To Bee
A patch of flowers sprouted in the middle of a meadow,
slender green stalks leading
to vibrant purple pedals.
A gentle breeze wakes the Bee,
once asleep on a sea of green,
now aware of the changing air.
Across the pasture dark clouds gather,
black as soot,
raining down thunder and lighting
like the stomping of a foot,
biting at the boughs beneath a hive
where smitten bees reside.
A tear is shed as pedals are spread
and pollen collects in a basket.
He lifts his head and stares with dread
at the casket,
aglow in red.
“They’re dead inside,” he rationalizes,
as fire consumes his friends.
What a family,
a deft calamity begging to be erased
without a soul to mourn them.
As the Bee buzzes away in chase of better days,
a smile spreads across his face.
Like him they’re free, no longer to bee,
underneath a fiscal monger.
Now the Bee, a wishful wander, can finally find his tree.