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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.

1 commentaire

22 sept. 2022

This is a beautiful poem Bruce, and I really like it, but I have one small quibble - I don't think it is served particularly well by the title, which tells us immediately that the poet/speaker is addressing 'the Bees' - and most people don't do this, and may not relate to it. What if that question is left open? Then the reader might ask: 'Who or what is the poet addressing, and why?' This would open up many possibilities - including 'the Bees'. Therefore, I would suggest a more expansive title, such as 'Life Lesson'. With this, the speaker could be a teacher in a classroom, or a parent telling a familiar bedtime story to his/her children, while teaching…

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