As close as I could get to the water,
I took off my leather sandals to let
my toes dangle in the reeds.
I lay back with my head on a dream,
watched as a cloud became a dragon
and snort its flames across the sun
before becoming a fire-breathing dog,
and then a loaf of bread when
I wasn’t even hungry. But among catkins
and as a picture painted on the lake,
a dragonfly balanced on a bulrush
to spread its wings in a smile
because joy is a word that bears repeating,
especially in a bumblebee’s hum.
Telling the Bees about the SIDs Death of the Infant, Melissa
Her name meant “bee.”
Tiny one. One hived
on a winter morning
when all the bees were gone.
Had she lived longer
than a single season,
a bee might have touched
her hand for luck
or lit upon her lips
to offer the gift of wisdom.
What took away her breath?
Cradled in a dream,
she never woke
to what the world could be.
The ground was frozen.
Not a single bee remained
to sing to her with glass wings
of the brevity of life
or explain, in spite of nature,
why a bumblebee can fly.
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.