Poetry Pop-Up: Emberson Federico

Bio: Emberson Federico, a history major pursuing teacher licensure, hails from Chattanooga. He attended an arts school from 7th through 12th grade, where his major was creative writing. While generally disliking poetry, particularly his own, he has a fondness for bees, which inspired the creation of the poem.

“An Ode to Bees”

by Emberson Federico

Many men hath come to fear

The tiny sword glued to thy rear.

Round body quick, though eyes deceive,

A citadel from wax thou weave.

Thou should not fly, mankind doth state,

Unbothered, thou do not abate.

From dawn ‘til dusk, thou work twelve hours,

Scouting ‘round for fields of flowers.

With five eyes each, thou move to see,

Never still, the honey bee.

With endurance long and weapon keen,

thou give thy life to serve thy queen.

Thou sally forth from woven walls,

With wings abuzz, thy duty calls.

Though bear claws cleave, nectar to glean,

And badger’s armor keeps skin ‘neath clean.

Try as thou might, thy keep is razed,

To start again in fields yet grazed.

A new heir born to queen now gone,

The heart of thee beats ever on.

But agents burrow into nests,

They eat thy food, unwelcome guests,

Too small to catch too swift to kill,

They slay thy young, live as they will.

And toxins now infect the trees,

Claiming flowers, defiling breeze,

Born to slay the ants and bees,

Sharp stingers weak ‘gainst foes like these.

We could have stopped,

We should have seen,

But death’s cold grip

Claims the last bee queen.

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