Warm spring mornings awaken the carpenter bees
wintering in the shed plywood,
twenty-five or thirty of them
tangling mid-air, hypervigilant,
chasing, grappling, a staccato bounced
on a fiddle string.
I sit and watch them, great
eighty-year old pines and maples
lifting in the distance.
I wonder if I can survive
the small horrors of my life.
The husband, up late, comes to sit beside me,
balancing eggs and toast on his lap
and coffee on the arm of his folding chair.
The coffee spills, entirely,
he barks GODDAMMIT and throws
his plate into the yard,
walks back inside without looking back.
I’m pregnant. Above me
a knot of carpenter bees, interrupted
by the through-flight of a cardinal,
forget their squabble, and chase it.
Walking in My Melodramatic Yellow World, - McKenzie Drake. 2021.
Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30”. Photo courtesy of Mark Geil.
Combed out long on a diet
of Cinderella, Belle,
and Rumplestiltskin, another generation of mothers
are cutting their tower-long braids
to pull themselves out of holes, wells, and ditches.
Becoming bitches. Begrimed, fucked,
and pissed. Hail, dirty witches.
Come wash your hair, whose strength
you have stolen in cutting it. Its dark
heavy mass becoming inert, falling away dead,
leaving you, elastic and alive.
Anna Laura Reeve is a poet living and gardening near the Tennessee Overhill region, historic land of the Eastern Cherokee. Previous work of hers has appeared in Jet Fuel Review, Humana Obscura, Canary, Stirring, Cutthroat, Fourteen Hills, and others. Her chapbook Re / Wilding was recently a semifinalist for the Wolfson Chapbook Prize. Read more: www.annalaurareeve.com