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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Fact and Fiction

 

                                               

Older brother remembers

poking a stick in the hive.

No, says younger brother, you

swung at it with an ax.

 

We’re talking about our childhood,

events fifty years past.

I’m the middle brother

and I suspect older brother

handed the stick to our baby sister

and told her where to stab.

But I’m not sure.

 

She’s heard the story,

our baby sister, all the versions.

Says she was just a toddler,

too small to recall clearly

what happened.

 

Mom stands in the doorway

leaning on her walker.

What bees?  Who cried?

Who got bit?  She remembers nothing

of this.   Not surprising, she says,

so many things she’s forgotten.

 

I still dream about it, though now the bees

scream like bats.   She’s about

to get chewed apart, our baby sister,

and her three older brothers

have run off.

 

Twenty-five bee stings,

on this we all agree.

 

                                —Lowell Jaeger