If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.
– Recent bee keeper protest slogan.
Dressed in camouflage,
We hunted bumblebees in the back yard.
We would chase them
From the cement basement lip of the little red house
where my parents tried to grow strawberries,
all the way across the clover patch that lined the driveway.
I guess it was only a few adult steps, really.
But to us it seemed like a wide stretch of terrain:
A battlefield occupied by the enemy.
My best-friend Andrew and I—we shared the very same birthday, us two—
We’d gather up rocks and sticks that felt like logs
—like battering rams in our child hands–
And we’d gather our giddy kid courage, hiding behind the gutter-pipe:
a commando team on a mission
to kill the bees.