Field drones sotto voce under the vixen sun
of this bower. Nerding above arboretum,
hovering near posts of pumiced denim,
taunting bent nails of raw iron sienna

cluster gathering bees.

Seduced, they kiss brindled dawn.
Brigands dance upon dappled palettes;
alight airily in the fine-winged breeze;
Canter forth and back to broods,

pollen saddled thick about their legs.

Deep within the drumming hive, brewers
construct combed sextets for new mead—
beebread laid in abundant embroidery
before their expectant queen, who laments

the vanishing quorum of her waggling swarm.

By Gina Marie Bernard

dancing bees in circle on a beeswax

author photoGina Marie Bernard is a heavily tattooed trans woman, roller derby vixen, and full-time English teacher. She has completed a 50-mile ultra marathon, followed Joan Jett across the US, taught creative writing at a medium-security prison, and purposely jumped through a hole cut in lake ice. She lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her daughters, Maddie and Parker, own the two halves of her heart. She has written one YA novel, Alpha Summer (2005), and one collection of short fiction, Vent (2013). Her poetry has recently appeared in r.kv.r.y quarterly, Mortar, The Cape Rock, New Plains Review, and Leveler. She has work forthcoming in The Hunger Journal and Flypaper Magazine. Visit her website:g i n a m a r i e b e r n a r d . s q u a r e s p a c e . c o m

Photo of bees by Rupert Trischberger

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