Veronica has poetry and short stories published in several literary journals. She holds an MA in Literature from American University.
I Stung a Bee
I stung a bee with a pin
when it landed on my french fry.
“Stick to flowers!” I yelled at him.
“Go back to that honey-dripped dive.”
I am the Queen of the picnic blanket,
defender of the horde,
forged from the globs of fat,
sweat off the hides of men.
Drone drum, fry the chicken
let me lick the dripping oil
let the grease fall down my chin
like a dead bee on a sunshine blanket,
pierced by the vulnerability
Human creations were not meant for thee.
His body's now crisp,
bleeding honey on the blanket.
He smells of red flowers.
He shrinks into the fulfillment of duty,
as I grow,
unable to carry my own weight,
pleasure slinking away,
slipping out of my sausage fingers.
It's hard to say what I was thinking when I wrote this poem.
I was frustrated at the time - with sin, with human nature, with my own greed and laziness and unwillingness to take care of myself - and the poem poured out of me almost effortlessly. In Proverbs, the Bible tells us not to be sluggards, and to actually look to insects (specifically ants) to see how we were meant to work and thrive. In this poem, I used the bee to illustrate how this industrious work ethic clashes with our own human tendencies of laziness, gluttony, pride, and greed.
"I Stung a Bee" is part of a series of secular poetry I wrote when I became a born-again Christian in the summer of 2016. This poem first appears in my chapbook At War With the Fireflies.
© 2020 Veronica McDonald