For Mary Pinard
with lines from her poem “Viewfinder”
and with lines from several poems by Eamon Grennan
Mid-August. I’ve come home to a handful of bees dead beneath my bedroom windows— awning windows I keep open all summer— this, the summer I’ve been reading a poet of the heart, celled in hush like honey bees
sleeping, poems filled with the long clean lineof bee-sound, my poet giving his home over to bees, calling the floorboards, back bedroom theirs, the bees for years secreted in the ceilingbetween sealed rafters, plaster and roof boards.
Earlier in the season I’d sprayed, then scraped a nest from under a gutter. The next— day before I left—from under the porch peak. Now it seems bees have taken over inside. I use a paperback to swat them one
by one, continue searching outside, as the bee guy said, at last spot them coming and going through a hole in the crawl space over the old part of my house. The longest day of the year, that day of waiting: for
twilight. To spray. I use up one can, buy another, spray dusk and dawn till I see no more bees around that dark hole. But still in my bedroom—just one or two, mind you, every few days—bees I keep killing [End Page 151]
while my poet bundles his in a dishcloth to shake out into the yard. Now I’m waiting a month, as my bee man said, to caulk the hole from the outside, at last secure my home. Even my good friend Mary isn’t with me
on this—Mary, whose poems crawl headfirst into that unfinished place grief constructs over the old parts of our homes, singing as she is these days about bees, beekeepers, their helmets swarmed in tea-colored veils,
the bees they tend, smoked out from their hives, a beeline glowing, spun-sugar filaments; Mary, whose poems eat through wood in their hunger— here, now her latest weaving air with light, each of its small sweet cells, there for our gorging.
Moira Linehan’s debut collection, If No Moon, was published by Southern Illinois University Press. It was named an Honor Book in Poetry by the Massachusetts Book Awards.