about the author

Lisa J. Cihlar’s poems have appeared in Blackbird, The South Dakota Review, Green Mountains Review, Crab Creek Review, and Southern Humanities Review. She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, The Insomniac’s House, is available from Dancing Girl Press and a second chapbook, This Is How She Fails, is available from Crisis Chronicles Press. She lives in rural southern Wisconsin.

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Lisa J. Cihlar

Some of us love bees. Bees in the crabapple, bees in the lilac. In many ways I like my mother better now that she has dementia. It seems I can forgive the past now that she can’t remember it. Neither of us ever believed in ghosts. Now she hears things above her head. The cats stare at the ceiling and the dog cocks his ears and listens. My mother is too broken to climb the stairs. She used to play the game called I am sicker than you. In the cubbyhole the vent-tape failed and a swarm of bees has filled the space between three wall-studs with comb. Thirty-two inches of honey and wax, soft and runny in the summer heat. I can still pretend it is nothing. She will believe me for an hour, until I leave and she takes her cue from pets. I suggest leaving the television on. She says all there is at 3 a.m. is static. But what can the bees sound like but the same?

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