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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Honeybees Can Be Trained to Locate Landmines with an Accuracy of Better than 97.5%

By: Terry Bodine

Which jars hardest—your swarm of expletives, or the flat

of the broom—as I sweep the knot of bees from low porch eaves

into a bucket? Wildly allergic, you want them gone; yet I ponder pulling

the screen door wide and loosing the hive on this minefield,

this marriage. Some olfactory trip wires even I’ve identified:

my indifferent cooking, your mother’s perfume, the piss that misses

the toilet bowl when you pee at 3 am. Where I need the bees’ keen

sense of smell is deeper in—beyond the post-work dinner hour,

the Saturday football and Sunday chores, to the stories we neglect

to tell, the affection we withhold. To track trace scents

of condescension, or spite, to those bombs that, once ignited,

leave love disfigured, maimed, or dead.


A graduate of the College of William & Mary, Terry Hall Bodine works as housing coordinator at University of Lynchburg. Recent publication credits include Roanoke Review, The Tishman Review, Scintilla, and Typishly.

“Several years ago I worked on a series of poems with prompts/titles taken from the book First Lessons in Beekeeping. This poem is a late entry to that series, though its title is from an article on the internet and not the book that inspired the project. The poems expose fault-lines--or in this case, trip wires--in relationships ranging from benign to self-destructive.”


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