When pulling poison ivy, partway through
a day in May, the morning middling warm,
I stood to find myself inside a swarm
of honeybees, the ones I'd spoken to
when I'd pass by the sassafras. Although
they buzzed and circled, I felt no alarm
for me, but reverie: for me, in form
the dying sassafras, the bees for you.
I've watched the notch, the twin trunk at fork's cleft
and worried what great split from storm or wind
might rive the hive, leave me forlorn, bereft,
until I saw remaining bees attend.
No sting so fierce as my first fear they'd left,
I'd seen a new-formed swarming queen ascend.