Billy’s Bee – A Poem by Barry Vitcov

My friend Billy carried a honeybee
Around in a Diamond matchbox
We were five or six or seven
(Specific memories aren’t as important as the sense of things)
Tramping around the rocky hill behind our South San Francisco house
It seemed like Mt. Everest at the time
(Still does from time to time)
Every so often he’d slide open the matchbox
The honeybee would tentatively look out
Before flying off
Just a few feet away
Before returning
Billy would slide the box shut
Returning the box to his shirt’s breast pocket
Maybe the honeybee felt comfort from Billy’s heartbeat

When one bee died
He simply shook it out
And found another to train
I have no idea how he found obedient bees
He never named them
Billy’s family eventually moved away
I never met another bee trainer

We live in boxes
Not much of a life to share
Go from here to there

We live in boxes
built by our own creation
imagined or not

About the Poet

Barry Vitcov began writing poems and short fiction while in his early teens. He didn’t write poetry or fiction during his 40-year career in education. Since his retirement, he has been trying to recapture his ‘fictional’ voice writing haiku, longer poems, and short fiction. 

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