Do you remember being small and singing
that bringing home a baby bumble bee
would make my mommy proud of me?
But when the two tallest roses in our meadow were plucked
the bee was squashed,
it’s warm, yellow fuzz wiped off our hands.
Our hair was buzzed, and like a swarm
we were sent overseas, our stingers in our grip.
Above us the drones fly in formation to strike.
The pheromones of fuel and the fallen are strong as we comb the desert.
The honey we produce sticks red in the sand.
As a hive mind, we try to feel the pride that we sang of in our youth.
But a taste of sour nectar still lingers in our mouths.
*Originally published in The Sandy River Review
Gail Bello is a former co-editor of the online literary magazine The River and placed third in the 2018 Plunkett Poetry Festival contest. She writes fiction, poetry and plays, her work has been published in The Sandy River Review, Ripple Feminist Zine, Water Soup, Turnpike Magazine, Bonnie’s Crew and Pussy Magic. She is thrilled and honored to be published in Collective Unrest. Follow her on Twitter @AquajadeGail.