Please join us for a poetry reading by James Owens at IU South Bend on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Third Floor Lounge of Wiekamp Hall. The reading will be followed by a reception and book-signing.
by James Owens
Near the end, she spoke as if waking from a dream
to common light,
her fingers on the bedclothes
untying words to loose like petals of fog.
Whenever her husband’s bees
swarmed from their hives, the noise
like a saw inside her pulse, she had to run
after them and bang a kettle with a big spoon,
a sound the escaping swarm would take for thunder
and settle on a branch to be caught and housed.
She cried then, she said—just sat and wept,
every time she saw the bees betrayed—
and couldn’t explain,
ringed by shocked children, the voice
of the angry swarm
that followed her across decades:
bees, their penned fury.