Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Teaspoonful of Happiness

Imagine: your life's work in a teaspoon! Every now and then, we need a little smack in the face to stop our whining and complaining and realize how blessed we humans are. This poem did that for me, as Jeanie points out that the sum total of a honeybee's life is six weeks and all he has to show for those six weeks of frantic productivity is a single spoonful of honey. I haven't checked this fact for scientific accuracy--I'm guessing she did--but teaspoon or tablespoon (or half a cup, for that matter!), the message of this poem stopped me in my tracks.

2010 Poetry Parade: Day 25

Jeanie Tomasko

God gave the honeybee six weeks
and so
she flies
five hundred miles
in short refrains
of alleluias
to windy, white clover fields
to pink and proper rose gardens
gathering nectar in that careful needle
taking no time for self-pity, though
her life’s work, together
with that of eleven sisters
was the teaspoon of honey
I just stirred into my tea.

Sometimes she stops to walk
on my sunflowers,
her sturdy legs grow heavy
as she fills her pollen-baskets
with food for the bees back home,
but I like to think her stroll
on those upturned yellow faces,
is more for the joy of making me wonder
what I know of happiness.

This poem first appeared in the Wisconsin Poets' Calendar.
Used here with the author's permission.
Learn more about this poet here.

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