Something else, my grandmother said,
as in, those boys down by the creek are
something else or Reverend, that sermon
was something else, and I couldn’t stop
thinking that it was our fault: the bees
now distant, as though they had lumbered
across the cold shallows of Styx, shaking
their fur for the boatman dozing at the rudder.
Later, when scientists offered an explanation,
disease of bees on a biblical scale, the Reverend
offered his prayer to the black flecks of a failing
sky, pollen sacs laden and glistening. Somehow
we knew it was something else entirely,
warm, measurable as honey—the flowers
by the walkway straining toward each other
though they just couldn’t reach.
Nick McRae's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Linebreak, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. A former Fulbrighter and Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets fellow, Nick is currently a University Fellow in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University.