Painting by Whitney G. Hedges
Just in time, I did not pour one pail into the other,
noticed the bee paddling below, struggling to hold
her tiny face above the sloshing surface, gasping—
if I could hear sounds that small—for breath, wet
wings stuck to her back, and like a cartoon rewound
the churning water sucked back from the rim
scooped Bee onto my sleeve, breathed warm
air around her, a gentle breeze, a halo of hope.
She lifted one thread-like leg, took a tentative step,
shook a bit like a dog fluffing her coat and
began to explore my cuff. Content,
I carried her to a Bee Balm leaf, returned
my attention to my task until startled
by an insistent humming beside my ear
guiding my eyes, she circled me twice
then flung into flight.
Oh, I will think of her when the wind
blows cold over the meadows encased
in snow, while coating liquid crystals
of gold on toast.
Naomi Bindman's articles, essays, and poetry have appeared in anthologies and journals including Mothering, VT Digger, So to Speak, Friends Journal, Consilience, Import Sky and forthcoming First Literary Review. She was selected as the winner of the 2023 Creative Nonfiction Award from Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose. Naomi has received grants from the Vermont Arts Council, taught memoir-writing workshops funded by the Vermont Humanities Council, and is on the faculty of the Vermont State Colleges.