After a while, we can harvest the honey.
The room sealed, air butter slick, flies, butting
the screen door. I lay a knife on the gas ring,
slip the steel along the frame. Mother looks
over my shoulder at uncapped combs, wax rolls
into a slow amber fin. She lets out one sob alone,
cells run small movies of my father in sunlight
stood away from windows, silent, at his hive.
He moved frames like still lives of himself.
We place them in the drum, watch it spin,
spokes of memory driving me to remember
us buying dresses a month after, a swirl
of brittle underskirts our honeycomb flinging
out sticky tears. He never did let us buy clothes,
or own shampoo. There was God’s work to do,
one garment should last a preacher’s kin years.
Our hair ought to smell of tar soap and bonfires,
stroked by the Lord. The honey spins. We hold
muslin, sift specks of wax. Drips of honey drop
into a jar like the rain the apricots took to heart, knots
of sap on the tree that does all my weeping for me.