When we moved to the bungalow,
I worried my lost son
would not find me.
(If he came looking.)
The August air that year was viscous
and there was much that needed to be unpacked.
So much to be sorted
Our new home was close to the airport,
and I stood at my back window
and watched as heavy Boeing 747s
lumbered into view
between the houses behind us.
They sunk silently.
and ponderously graceful–
like giant metal whales.
Their massive silver bellies skimmed
along the tops of confused trees
before they crossed Albion Road
onto the shimmering tarmac.
I looked down and found a little bee on the window ledge.
She was dusty, dry and dead.
I cradled her tiny weightless body in my palm.
My heart broke for her,
and I thought–
what a brave little bee she had been
to fly in the same sky
as those enormous airplanes.
I set her
in a nest of feathers,
and let music flow into her.
I left her as a beacon for my son.
Later that day
I sat on the back steps
in the heat–
drinking red wine and thinking
about all the sorrow
that had followed us to our new house.
I imagined the bee beacon
shining for my son
and hoped it wouldn’t confuse the aircraft.
This poem appears in April 2020 GUEST [A journal of guest editors] above/ground press
If you enjoyed this poem you might like this beautiful song by Karine Polwart based on Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’s book The Lost Words: A Spell Book.