Bees at wooden hive

Letter to America by Angela Sorby

One Poem

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First Apiary

White House or no, this is agriculture, and the bees call the shots.
    – Charlie Brands, Presidential beekeeper (ret.)

The First Bees occupy the White House hive
En masse, commiserating buzz to buzz,
A colony, and yet not colonized,
A legal code apart, and yet of us.
They do not recognize our speech as speech.
Their concentration overwhelms the lawn.
They work through the compact geometry
Of infinitely perfect hexagons.
“No garden is a feral isolate”:
Who said that? Bella Azbug? Etta James?
The queen is stable and self-evident
Like some deep baseline knowledge in the brain.
In x we trust: the pollen in the phlox
Burns off the mist. We are not wholly lost.




Angela SorbyAngela Sorby is the author of several books, most recently The Sleeve Waves, which won the Felix Pollak Prize from the University of Wisconsin Press. She is a professor of American literature and creative writing at Marquette University.

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