<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| winter 2009

Molly Sutton Kiefer



In beekeeping suits, we're astronauts,

our hooded view gazing

across the Texas moonscape, the hum

of the hive, wax candles and honeycomb

in a glass jar.  My boots gray in the dust

and I am grateful for iced tea,

lemonade, cubes of ice.  This is solitary field work,

and at dusk, the hives still, fireflies

quiet in the twilight air.  I thought

I liked midnight best, but now,

the purpling ridge of horizon, and my heart,

stilling in a sweaty ribcage, may eclipse.


I left Minnesota with frost

covering the ground, and the frenzy of my husband

working later every night, and me, in the dull

kitchen light, pasta long gelled in the pot.

I wonder what changed

between us, but after our return

from his homeland, we drifted

instead of warmed.  I have allowed

the drifting to turn into the sting

of harsh words, subtle suspicions, the creep

along floorboards in the honeycombed hallways.


This sweet Texas air will tell me,

oil fields and cow pasture,

what in my future will bud.

I could stay here, decide

for myself, not return, change

before he changes first.

I could keep bees, sell papaya and

avocado from the bed of a pickup truck,

make love to migrant workers,

tumble out of sleep before the sun,

my skin growing darker until I become

another person entirely.