Removing a Colony

Sara Eddy

Pressing my cheek against the wall
I feel their industry in my skull
and smell the sweetness
of their hive bond before
I see any trace of them.
They’re invisible, the ghost
workers in our wall,
but we’ll have to make them leave.
The weight of their honey will
warp the wallboard and bring down
the house, and the sight of them
careening in and out through
their narrow entrance in the siding
will frighten the neighbors.
We call in a white suit with smoke
and tools and patience to open the wall
and slice out their comb,
relocating room and board and
bees into hive boxes. He takes
each laden leaf of comb gently,
his goatskin gloves dripping gold
and the house soon stinking
of bees and wax and honey.
He is careful to find the queen
and lift her with deference
into her new kingdom.
The workers will all follow,
refugees now, and they’ll
ride in a pick-up for miles
through fields of strange flowers
to a new hive home, leaving me
strangely bereft, wondering
if there might have been
other possibilities.

Sara Eddy is a writing instructor at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts. Some of her poems have appeared recently in Sum, One, and Zingara, and are forthcoming in Raw Art Review and the Tishman Review. Her poem “Peach Jam” won the Causeway Lit poetry competition in fall of 2018. She is currently working on a chapbook of food poems with the support of a Fellowship from the Kahn Institute at Smith College. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with a teenager and a black cat and three beehives.