Shortest night, St. John's Eve,
he Patron Saint of Bees. I arrived
on Acoma at the dawn of his day.
A young guide walked me around
the primitive, mesa-top village,
showed the desert-rock reservoirs
and the outhouses at the four corners.
We were trailed by sounds
of battery-powered radios
seeping out of adobe homes.
The huge beams of the high-ceilinged,
dirt-floored church stretched above us.
Men had dragged them there from afar
on a long ago faith-filled pilgrimage.
Preparations were underway
for celebrations later when I would be
on the road again, absent from the sacred.
I should have stayed and prayed
for the bees. They have abandoned me
again this year, my tomatoes,
my cucumbers, zucchini, and I pollinate
with a little paint brush. The bees know
that I love them, and they should do
their little travel dances to lead
their fellow hunter-gatherers to me.
Last year we lived in a miracle,
bees of every kind here with me
under the arched trellis of cucumber vines.
We hummed together and gave thanks
for bounty all summer. But now
they have forgotten me again.
The ancient rituals will go on
today at Acoma without me,
and I am sure the honey bees
are busy, dancing directions
today in someone's garden
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