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.