Then the honeybees arrive,
Three thousand
Lost on a sugar nut branch,
Thin air, thick.

Woven with wings,
A ball bound to itself,
Globular, pendulous,
Swayed by the wind,

A living drip
That won’t drop.

When the beekeeper comes,
Barehanded, bareheaded,
He sweep-scoops them
Into the open top of the hive,

A frame-filled box, where,
They pour themselves
Across golden hexagons,

Honeycomb, home.

But look!
At the entrance,
Four drones emerge,
Abdomens raised, throb-wiggling,

Wafting pheromones
Into the invisible sky,
To where the last of the swarm,
Glazed like honey in the bark,

Too delicate for gathering,
Has been left behind.

Scent. Signal.
Ah, to take good
Care of one another,
To whisper,

“Here. This way,”
When someone is
Silently. Entirely silent!

First one, then another,
The last of the bees wing homeward.