Fifty-thousand is a medium-sized town
wiping out any one is a slaughter
50,000 might be five hives,
Dead bees dry up like cicada husks,
furred legs pump,
torsos circle directing
toward a hive they’ll never go home to.
They came for linden pollen,
the heart-shaped leaves, abundance.
and writhed in piles in a Target parking lot
wanderers, sojourners, victims
of Safari sprayed for aphids no one worried about.
The scientists wrapped the trees in baggies,
closing the juice bar
after the liquor turned lethal.
The people worried on those pollinators,
the canaries, busy-bodies on fruit.
Come to Target to mourn, carry your signs
Bee The Change
for bees who feed us
not knowing poison
Poison as death knell,
the dripping of our tears.
We have so little time
without the bees.
Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet. As a master gardener who specializes in native plants, she grows some plants just for the pollinators. A righteous bunch of pearly everlasting is in bloom right now.