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SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

The Beekeeper’s Story

by Seretta Martin

In their honey-house her bees shuffle
and spin their sticky magic. This morning
she visited them as she does every day.
When she removed the lid angry bees swarmed
and chased her down the hill. She worries—
Did I crush a bee when I dropped the lid?

Returning in the afternoon
she opens the lid, finds five bees
diligent as medics
clustered around the injured one. 
They tug and pull its legs until
the crippled bee rises and flies away.

Healing comes with the patient passage of time.

—An earlier version was published in California Poets in the Schools 45th Anniversary anthology (2009). Poem is reprinted here by author’s permission.


SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

Seretta Martin

Author/illustrator of Foreign Dust Familiar Rain, Seretta Martin is a Phillip Levine short-list finalist. Her second book, The Art of Climbing Shadows, is forthcoming in 2014. She serves as a contributing editor of the literary journals: Poetry International, San Diego Poetry Annual, Synesthesia, and Blue VorText Publishers. Her award-winning work has appeared in Web del Sol, Margie, Oberon Foundation, City Works, A Year in Ink, Modern Haiku, Weave, and others.

Seretta teaches poetry at San Diego Writer’s Ink, at libraries, museums, and in schools. ( & She is the assistant director of Border Voices Poetry Program and a founding member of Haiku San Diego. At Upstart Crow Bookstore, she hosts the 3rd Wednesday, New Alchemy Poetry Series. Seretta holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury