“A Hive for Water” by Fred Dale

01 February 2019 on Blog, Poetry   Tags: ,

A sealed, clear bag of water hung above the door,
dusk’s sleepy light
palmed in its many mirrored hands.
The barman said it kept the bees away, proving,
at the least, I was not a bee.
I told him how as I passed into the bar, I felt a spot
of confusion, a moment like where the government
turns us off remotely.
I guessed the trick of the bag lay in its harmonics,
a hair thin vibration telling the bees no.
But who dares this no man’s land of transitions,
the strain of young horses when they rise?
Saddle up, my dad says,
as he shrugs the backpack into place, looks forever
across the valley grass, says, it’s the trail’s time
for us, my boy. It’s the hinge
of our terrifying moment that’s a livable territory,
those first few steps, then all the rest.
The mother says it was the sack of water I was
that kept the bees at bay when they came
for their queen. She says,
call back your hive. Let him through to his beer,
a hard-earned walk of them.


Fred Dale is a husband to his wife, Valerie and a father to his occasionally good dog, Earl. He serves as a Senior Instructor in the Department of English at the University of North Florida, and he earned an MFA from the University of Tampa, but mostly, he just grades papers. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sugar House Review, The Summerset Review, Chiron Review, Crack the Spine, The Evansville Review, and others.

Tom Glover is a New Hampshire-based visual artist. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire, where he studied painting under John Laurent, John Hatch, and Conley Harris. He currently teaches at Sanctuary Arts in Eliot, Maine. He is also an oil painting restorer and works as picture framer and art restorer at Riverstones Custom Framing in Rochester, NH. You can find more of Tom's work on his website

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