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More poems by Nick FlynnNick Flynn | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments (1) | Books by Nick FlynnBooks by Nick Flynn

Statuary

Nick Flynn

Bees may be trusted, always, 
        to discover the best, nay, the only 

human, solution. Let me cite 

                an instance; an event, that, 

though occurring in nature, is still 
        in itself wholly abnormal. I refer 

to the manner in which the bees 

        will dispose of a mouse 
                                        or a slug 

        that may happen to have found its way 
into the hive. 

                        The intruder killed, 

        they have to deal with 
                                        the body, 

        which will very soon poison 

their dwelling. If it be impossible 

        for them to expel or dismember it, 
they will proceed methodically 

                & hermetically 

        to enclose it in a veritable sepulcher 
of propolis & wax, 

                which will tower fantastically 

above the ordinary monuments 
        of the city. 

                * 

                        When we die 
        our bodies powder, our bodies 

        the vessel & the vessel 
empties. 

                Our dying does not fill 
the hive with the stench 

        of dying. But outside 
                                the world hungers. 

                A cockroach, stung, 
can be dragged back out. 

                A careless child 

        forced a snail inside with a stick once. 
        We waxed over the orifice of its shell 

                sealing the creature in. And here, 

the bottom of the comb, 
                                        a mouse, 
        driven in by winter & lack. 

        Its pawing woke us. We stung it 

                        dead. 

        Even before it died it reeked - worse 
the moment it ceased 
                        twitching. 

                                        Now everyday 
        we crawl over it 
                            to pass outside, 

the wax form of what was 

                staring out, its airless sleep, 

                        the mouse we built 
        to warn the rest from us. 

Added: 25 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 26 Apr 2018 5:41 AM | Viewed: 4270 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3723/ | Viewed on 26 April 2018.
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