Kissing The Bees

Kissing The Bees
John Sokol
It’s August, and out my back window
I can see a little girl –– seven, maybe ––
kissing bees, in her mother’s garden.
She laughs wildly after every kiss;
after every kiss she licks her lips
and wipes them on her wrist…
Her mother calls out from the
kitchen window: “Kathleen Elizabeth!
I’m not telling you again! Stop kissing
those bees! You’re gonna get stung!”
Kathleen Elizabeth pouts and stares
wantonly at her bees in the blossoms.
She seems enthralled by the buzzing throng.
I wonder if she knows that, in Brittany,
generations believed the tears of Christ shed
on the cross turned into bees,
and that these same bees
and their descendants
are said to impart eloquence
to a child of their choice.
Maybe she intuits, somehow, that when
Plato and Sophocles were infants, bees
alighted on their mouths. She must
know something, because now
she is singing to the bees, as people
in England used to do, to keep their bees
at home, and happy.
And now I can hear
the thoughts that incite her desire,
that arrive on the breeze, as the whole
luminous day around her ––
and around me –– seems to whisper
“Kiss the bees! Kiss the bees!”