Parable

“…A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.”

~ “A Song on the End of the World,” Czeslaw Milosz

In a picture from a book on how to sew
your own clothes, a woman pulls out

the linings of her pockets to show
they are in a contrast color: red,

like heads of tulips emerging from the sides
of her hips, or koi nosing out of the depths

of a pond. Such even, hand-stitched rows
going around the neckline and the wrists

and the hem— like a path on a field
to illustrate where a bee might circle,

driven by some tiny stroke of sweetness. The linen
is thick and coarse and gray. The air is full

of smoke, and there are cries on the bridge.
But the bee, the bee: it keeps threading the air.

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