I have since given away my beehive, so no revisits after this.
My hand swells as the venom spreads,
until it is smooth and puffed;
an inflated glove
or a giant toddler’s hand.
As the skin stretches the wrinkles disappear
and the tiny hidden scars stand out clear.
My stories written on my hands:
White crescents each side of my thumb,
carved by a bird, trapped and crazed,
madly flapping, flailing,
biting when freed.
The fine line across my palm,
from my grandmother,
years gone now,
resting a baby cousin on my hand
as it lay on a sharp edge.
I never told her – why hurt her?
A motley patch on my wrist
records a moment of carelessness:
a slick mud road,
a moment of helplessness
before the airbag left that burn.
(And I turned in terror
to the back seat.)
Pale ridges across two knuckles,
these also self-inflicted,
but in a moment of fury
and despair –
no accident these, but a statement.
(I turn my hand to face these ones away.)
And so many small mishaps,
so much daily clumsiness,
but still inscribed here.
The venom slowly dissolves and disperses.
My hand shrinks, and wrinkles,
aging years in each hour.
And all the scars are hidden,
and forgotten again.