My daughter can't sleep
for the vanishing bees.
She slumps in the dining room's
spindle-backed chair, lost
in the moon-slatted light
of the sloping yard. She can't sleep
as bees disappear from the pecan
groves of Georgia, from the blackberry
fields of Maine, from the pear
orchards of central China.
She turns from vibrating dreams
of bee-shadows and bee-shrouds,
as scientists parse the broken-
down machinery of bees,
their children in the front yards,
looping endless chains of clover.
Until the bees reappear,
lining up along the branches
of the linden, her story-laden tree.
They park there, fifty on one branch,
a hundred on another, a fleet
of tiny yellow trucks, idling
into oblivion. She knows
about compound eyes --
their seven thousand hexagonal
lenses. And the three ocelli built
into the top of the head -- she knows
how those tiny windows help
orchestrate the light: a million
shifting facets, a million dances
mapped into the air. The night
is filled with zithering, and a girl
who carries inside her a meadow
of violets, a sweet, quickening blur.