The Bees
Are Inside
We played TV tag under the tree, Casey
and me, screaming, scrambling away
from the bees. He tagged me out once

under its leaves then showed me his secret,
what he'd found on the tracks. He gave me
his best chunk of railroad glass, the size

of my fist; he gave me the Hope Diamond.
He had a face something fey, clear
as daylight in winter, too finely drawn.

How had he come from that stumbling line,
brawling and surly, dead-drunk by noon?
Not from his father those clear blue eyes,

not from his mother that hair like light;
Casey and kin were dawn and night, a bright
crystalline thing born out of darkness

and chaos. Inbred they called him and worse,
and sometimes he heard them. I saw
a cursed angel or changeling

flung headlong from God and then from a tree
we'd climbed a thousand times. It took
a purposeful, soaring fall,

the town whisper-buzz whispering like it had
for years, we kids not meant to hear
the rest, all that was twisted

and broken. Eyes clear blue, hair like light,
he said it all through the night
that he died. The bees, he said,
the bees are inside. The bees are in my head.

--- From Mom's Canoe
Rebecca Foust
©2008 Texas Review Press
Huntsville, Texas 77341
Send us e-mail


Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH