Northwords Now Issue 34

The FREE literary magazine of the North


by Juliet Antill

I’m slow to realise about the bees.
Slow, in the slow buzz of afternoon,
to see that their waverings – low to the ground
by the side of the shed – are anything but casual.
Now I see as well as comings there are goings;
these are quick and easy to miss. I imagine
a nest behind the stacks of cut larch.

Two summers ago I was host to wasps.
They built their nest against the shed door
and every time I went in for a fork or a pot
I exposed them. One day I opened the door
and they were gone, fed up with the intrusions,
the sudden rushes of light and air. They left
their grand design in paper and spit.