Ballad of the bees. A poem by Kathryn Anna Marshall

He said he knew how I felt
when I told how my world had grown small,
when I told of my fears, my guilt,
that I could have spread it at all.

He buzzed about days in the hive
when they realised all was not well,
described colleagues crawling with flies,
bouncer bees growing fierce with the bell.

He couldn’t explain where it came from,
he couldn’t explain what to do;
distancing wasn’t an option,
pollen can’t be gathered by few.

His buzz grew loud as I cried
for people I thought I might lose,
wondering whether my life
could return to be what I choose.

Louder as though there were thousands
hovering over his wake,
I looked on further horizons,
realised my part in his fate.

I accept that my world may be shrinking,
I accept change has to be made.
I’m embarrassed this bee has more inkling
of the collective impact we create.

Kathryn is a writer based in Shropshire. She’s always written, but it was diagnosis with M.E. that forced her to re-evaluate and reconsider the role of writing in her life. Kathryn’s poetry publications to date include work in Mslexia, Words for the Wild and Saltwaterzine, and she was Poet in Residence for Secret Severn Art Trail in 2019. She has flash fiction in Riggwelter Press and was longlisted for the Fish short story prize in 2019

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