by William Fargason
The summer my father swallowed bees
the honeysuckle outside our house bloomed
longer, larger even than usual. In the heat of June,
he pushed the mower back and forth,
always matching the lines the wheels made
in the grass to the edge of the new row
as he came back, his dirty white t-shirt draping
only where it wasn't stuck to the sweat, his arms
powdered with clippings. My father wiping his
brow. My father saying the varmints are back at it again.
My father saying we could use the rain,
saying I should go outside more.
My father saying a lot of things. As he
worked, he left his open can of sweet tea
on the porch railing. Sugar is sugar to any insect.
He took a break for a drink, didn't stop
until the can was empty. Later, he said
he could feel them inside stinging all the way down.