Jan 112010

By Melissa Guillet

Surprised cry as she steps

across the deck, I rushing

to soothe and seek the cause.

Both barefoot, I find

no pebble, no splinter, but

bending down, a bee

bent like a staple, severed

abdomen pulsing in her arch.

I worry allergies and shock

to a two-year old easily pacified.

But when I show her the bee

and explain what he did,

her happy-go-lucky ways go


With the toy she was chasing,

she pummels the dying creature,

fist tight with wrath.

“Okay, it’s dead,” I assure her, or

myself, or perhaps mostly,

the bee.

I lift her in flight

to the bathroom, a wet cloth and tweezers.

The abdomen falls away easily

but the stinger persists.

She doesn’t trust my explanation,

so I demonstrate, pulling

a hair from the mole on my arm.

Assured, in seconds

the stinger is out.

I bathe my daughter

in kind words, warm water

soothing the pierced skin,

hide my discomfort

my daughter has learned

to kill.