A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
There’s a bee in the classroom, not a particularly large one, smaller than my small toe. It wears a black and yellow striped sweater, translucent wings.
There’s a bee in the classroom, and my college students point and duck their heads. They forget they are seventeen Godzillas to the bee. None of them are allergic, so I’m bemused by their sudden, startled shrieks.
We’ve been talking about the muse up until this point, today—how I don’t believe in such a thing. This stings their sensibilities. The bee in the classroom is a happy distraction. Their reactions prevent them from seeing the possible poems in the way its antennae move.
There’s a bee in the classroom. My students are all abuzz. I mention the fuzzy socks it wears. They’re confused I find it cute. They ask me to kill it—it’s only a bee, after all, a worker. And my karma,
There’s a bee in the classroom. I want to keep it in an apiary of one, make it the class mascot for the bee brings gold. Maybe there’s an NEA or Guggenheim or MacArthur genius among us. I suggest after class they all go for mead. Suggest no one’s at risk if they’re not pollen-full, blossoming, but they don’t listen because
there’s a bee in the classroom. Exasperated I open the window, finally, until it flees, flying free into early autumn. My students swarm to watch from their new found safety. I can see the children they were only twelve years ago. One girl waves to it, that small thing growing smaller in the afternoon’s honeyed light.
Copyright 2019 Gerry LaFemina. From Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping (Madville 2019).