This is the first time I’ve ever seen
a stumbling bumblebee (a stumblebee?).
He’s a shrunken airplane
rushing awkwardly down a runway
of bumpy concrete at my feet by the sea,
pitching left and right,
unable to get off the ground.
He’s not giving up.
not slowing down,
his wings understanding nothing but flight.
He’s like a baby trying to walk,
not accepting the ground,
wanting only up.
I took my eyes off of him.
Now I can’t find him.
He might have staggered into a nearby bush
and not come out.
But I like to think he made it,
that his black and yellow body’s tiny engine
coughed into life
and up he went, smacked back into play
like an out-of-bounds tennis ball,
a five-eyed pollen god
heading back to work with flowers,
getting in as many nectar-hours as possible
in his few weeks of bee-life,
enjoying the summer buzz of afternoon,
talking to himself in a deep voice
among green leaves,
flying off into the blue freedom of wild July
thinking like the rest of us
that these warm spicy days
of sun and flowers will never
Kathryn de Leon is from Los Angeles, California but has been living in England for ten years. Her poems have appeared in several magazines in the US including Aaduna, Calliope, and Black Fox, and in several in the UK including The Blue Nib, London Grip, Snakeskin, and The High Window where she was the Featured American Poet.