The Keep

Kristin Garth (with an illustration by Amy Suzanne)

He keeps bees secret mid ancestral trees,

generations wept, low hanging leaves. Lush

bladed grass littered with twig, family

secrets buried too deep to dig. A hush

as you tiptoe towards apiary,

memory you taste, only once see net

draping his face, sleeves tied with string. His sons

denied access to everything. Sweat

upon brow, crouched behind trunk, a scream

you will remember, aged, drunk, the sting surreptitious

of Italian insects, an imported love he

jealously collects nearby. Suspicious

of crude fingers in hives, beats ‘til you weep,

renouncing his bees—not thrill of the keep.

Author’s Note: "The Keep" is a Crow Carriage sonnet about The Doctor, a terrible scientist, who first learned the passion of keeping from his beekeeper father who kept amidst his weeping willow trees. The Doctor is not interested in insect specimens but human.

Illustration by Amy Suzanne

Kristin Garthis a Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna, and more. She is the author of fifteen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House, Shut Your Eyes, Succubi (Maverick Duck Press), Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and The Meadow (APEP Publications). She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal, and co-founder of ‘Performance Anxiety,’ an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter @lolaandjolie and check out her website:

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