Poetry Sunday: Everyone Is Afraid of Something

Everyone Is Afraid of Something

BY DANNYE ROMINE POWELL

Once I was afraid of ghosts, of the dark,
of climbing down from the highest
limb of the backyard oak. Now I’m afraid

my son will die alone in his apartment.
I’m afraid when I break down the door,
I’ll find him among the empties—bloated,
discolored, his face a stranger’s face.

My granddaughter is afraid of blood
and spider webs and of messing up.
Also bees. Especially bees. Everyone,
she says, is afraid of something.

Another fear of mine: that it will fall to me
to tell this child her father is dead.

Perhaps I should begin today stringing
her a necklace of bees. When they sting
and welts quilt her face, when her lips
whiten and swell, I’ll take her
by the shoulders. Child, listen to me.
One day, you’ll see. These stings
Are nothing. Nothing at all.

All the pretty weeds

Why Mow It?

Did I tell you, Reader, that Jerod keeps his bees at his grandparents’ place where there is quite a bit of open land and a couple of massive gardens? Earlier this week, Jerod took me for a stroll into the thick weeds of the open lot—once the bees arrived last spring, Jerod’s grandfather stopped all mowing in the back lots, and now it’s full of glorious weedy delights. And the bees are hog wild on the flowers. I don’t know why we mow our yards. I’m of a mind to let some of our lawn go.

All the pretty weeds

 

"Is it worse to be scared than to be bored, that is the question."—Gertrude Stein

I resigned from my job. I resigned from my job without a plan for another. I think I may be finished working for other people. I am trusting the universe on this one, and so I’m focused squarely on the bees. The bees are in front of me right now, and I’ve learned to handle what’s in front of me without looking too far ahead and borrowing trouble. This should lead to something. Right, Reader?

Each day that I’ve been free from the old job, I’ve accomplished at least one thing to move TwoHoneys Bee Co. toward a business that will employ me full time. And wouldn’t it be great if TwoHoneys could eventually employ more people, too: students, interns, apprentices, carpenters, contractors, web masters, designers, marketers. I like it.

I envision teaching a university-based, experiential-learning beekeeping course…a writing course…a course in composition; then, I envision taking that course abroad…say, to Kenya or Tanzania to learn how people in Africa work with and earn a sustainable living with Africanized bees.

I see myself in a small storefront operation. A storefront well lit with natural light. And bare, wooden floors (I’ll want to walk around barefoot on those floors in the summertime). Walls filled with jars of honey and beekeeping equipment. A few beehives out back.  I’ll drive an old pick-up truck with TwoHoneys Bee Co. painted on the doors. People will call me the Bee Lady.  People will say, “Call her. She’ll do it.” I will respond, “Yes” when called. I will figure out a way.