The Honeycomb

They had made love early in the high bed,

Not knowing the honeycomb stretched

Between lath and plaster of the outer wall.

 

For a century

The bees had wintered there,

Prisoning sugar in the virgin wax.

 

At times of transition,

Spring and autumn,

Their vibration swelled the room.

 

Laying his hand against the plaster

In the May sunrise,

He felt the faint frequency of their arousal,

 

Nor winters later, burning the beeswax candle,

Could he forget his tremulous first loving

Into the humming dawn.


from The Lady and the Hare: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2003), © Pauline Stainer, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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