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  • By Bruce Meyer

Telling the Bees About Reverence

They know what I will say.

I will tell them how ants

covered a dead bumblebee

in cherry petals, how they came

bearing more than their weight

in fallen russet blossoms.

I have no way of knowing

what the gesture meant,

but am aware that reverence

is not only a human trait.

The ants covered the bee

as if they, too, suffered loss,

and honored it. I have no

other means of saying that love

exists in everything,

and learning how to grieve

one must learn to give away

the final perfect flower. Bruce Meyer is author or editor of 64 books of poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, and non-fiction. He has had three national bestsellers in Canada, and was 2019 winner of the Anton Chekhov Prize for Fiction (UK) and the Freefall Prize for Poetry. He has recently been a finalist in the Bath Short Story Prize, the National Poetry Competition (UK), the Tom Gallon Trust Fiction Prize, the Carter V. Cooper Prize, and the Thomas Morton Prize for Fiction. He lives in Barrie, Ontario, and teaches at Georgian College and Victoria College at the University of Toronto.

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