Carpenter Bee

       By Jess Morton

Our response is automatic,
this odd step away from bees.
Then no surprise as one slick
shirted fellow, his creased knees
go angling out grasshoppering
there by the corner of my fence
to pass the nightshade blooming
in its purple eloquence.

He steps away abruptly,
jerking on a common string
of inward knowledge, awkwardly
avoids the heavy bee, a drifting
buzz that stumbles up on pegs
of air from bloom to bloom
collecting pollen on her legs
for growing larvae to consume.

"A bee!" He justifies
to me his maladroitness,
as if he need apologize,
and I looked quickly less
in interest than assent,
distinguished one black hover
from the others there intent
within the blooms, discover
that it is a carpenter bee.
"It will not sting," I thought then,
would have said, but he
breezed by, the bee forgotten.