Honey bee

Once bitten, my son now fears all wasps,
bees – insects really – flying near our porch
or on his swing set. Twice, shy,
he has refused to go outside with me
today, hiding behind the safety of our walls
playing with toy cars, plastic trucks, and other
synthetic things. I want to keep him safe –

of course I do – but a world awaits him,
one with bee stings and honey,
blood red mosquito bites and
phosphorescent lightning bugs, itchy irritating
pollen clouds and sticky sweet maple syrup
and I must give a name to each of these today
so he can name his own world tomorrow.

We must take our lumps with sugar:
bees produce honey, pollen grows flowers,
and while I’m not sure mosquitoes
do anything pleasant, I spent many orange summer
dusks chasing lightning bugs and collecting lumps
And long to watch the joy in his eyes
as he braves the wilds of our back yard.