My grandfather kept bees.
When he was old and done with shoe repair,
a farmer gave him a piece of land
on which to keep his bees
in exchange for his bees’s workin the farmer’s fields.
And when my grandfather came home
from a day with his bees,
it is the scent I remember.
It’s not the same
as opening a jar of store bought
It is a deep rich smell of honeycomb,
filled and emptied,
I close my eyes and I feel my grandfather’s joy.
And know my Polish ancestors’ approval.
I taste his golden elixir.
And that scent,
oh, that scent,
drills deeply into my soul.
I once visited an art gallery in Denver.
I walked into the door and
was transported into that soul space
where bees create
and my grandfather stewards.
An artist birthed an unintended opus in beeswax.
I stood for a very long time
as close as I would be allowed
Breathing in my grandfather’s memory,
being the beekeeper’s granddaughter
honoring him and the bees,
and the artist who would never know this ritual.
I unwrapped the packages
containing waxed cloth.
Bees waxed cloth, not vegan,
but kinder to the earth than plastic.
These will wrap our homemade bread
to keep them fresh.
With a hint of my grandpa.
And I breathed in that scent,
rich and soul pleasing.
And I sneezed.
And continue sneezing
as I sit and smile
at my grandfather
as he smiles back.
Another opus to my grandfather and his bees as it appears in journal issue #12 at Wormwood Press Media.