“The Long Haul” by Sue Sinclair

The Long Haul

Samson’s bees hived themselves in the carcass of a lion.

Strange carcass this, the cavernous trailer dragged down the highway, pollinators ready to hand, stacked in the darkness, sent to groom the fields.

If I told you you could be endlessly happy, what kind of field would you imagine, what kind of release?

The engine drone vibrates endlessly through their bodies—but that could that be a form of happiness for all I know. For all I know they dream of it.

Crossing the continent to conduct the rites of spring after the locals have died. Industry darlings, growling their way conveniently through the flowers.

The Ancient Greek nek = death + tar = overcome yields nectar. The blossoms hoard this irony till the trucks arrive and disgorge the bees.

The bees suck death-overcome into their weak bodies as if making it true, as if a new economy will spring effortlessly from the ruins.

A hum in the orchard like a veil, like a thought spreading across a mind, almost convincing…

A hand reaches up to grasp a branch—a gesture that can now only be posed as a question.

This isn’t the first time I’ve mistaken idiom for truth.

Bees stumble too soon into the thin light of early January, spill into the almond grove, blearily milking the blossoms, fumbling through the pink haze.

Sue Sinclair is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Heaven’s Thieves, winner of the Pat Lowther Award. She edits for Brick Books and teach creative writing at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, where she is also editor of The Fiddlehead.

Skip to content