Bees in the Pillow – by Laurie Kuntz
Because I am allergic
my son looks out for me,
and for bees, especially those that make honey.
He combs every area–
a grassy knoll, a spot of sand,
benches and bridges,
places bees would and would not be–
one night past the tuck-in hour
he calls a current fright —
Tonight, a buzz in his ear.
Sometimes he begs for scrambled eggs at midnight,
any excuse not to fall into dreams.
I think we’ve gone past hunger
and closet monsters– his cast of shadows
brings us now– to this droning.
From sweetness comes fear.
We turn things out and in
I leave the room, beg him to sleep,
there is no sound, I tell him, but the sound of a beating heart.
Yet, he insists on the premise of bees in the pillow,
inside an embroidered case, hive-like,
and smelling of June sun,
So, I shake the downy mass, and out one flies,
buzzing and dazed, far from its hive–
emerging from something so concealed,
like an ear pressed upon a pillow at bedtime.