On Hearing that the Bees are Dying OutThat last summer I helped Billy
clear out his dead gran's meagre house.
And there amid the leavings of her life,
found rows of richness on a shelf,
all glowing in their stoppered glass,
like memories of summers gone:
lavender water, otto of rose,
scents of lily and blossom of peach,
mimosa essence and daffodil,
all once garnered mote by mote,
from blooms that coloured fields and hills.
Billy said she'd hoped to meet a man,
to replace his grandpa who had died so young,
she said she'd wear this stuff for him,
as they danced as one beneath the moon;
but no man came, and she died alone.
We shouldn't throw all this away I said,
it's like a hope for distant days, for something good,
so many flowers grew that this might be—
Plenty more where that came from he said,
and broke apart the ancient seals,
then held the bottles high above the sink
and let love's sweetness run away,
into the dark among forgotten things.