I can’t stop asking friends, acquaintances,
strangers in line at the grocery store,
but nobody seems to know the answer.
I might have to wait until spring,
when the farmers market unfurls its umbrella
of vegetable seedlings, cage-free eggs
on the tarmac behind the library.
It’s possible I’ll never know.
Maybe I’ll ask the guy who sold me
this hefty six pound jar of sugary, thick sunshine.
It’s possible he’ll know, but there’s no guarantee.
He’s just a beekeeper and strawberry grower,
awkward, not the easiest guy to talk to.
I may never figure it out.
Just because he gathered the honey
doesn’t mean he’ll be able to explain the physics
of why each night, despite my careful wiping away
of the day’s residue, it creeps up the inside walls
of the glass jar, how it insinuates itself between
glass rim and tin lid, each morning irksome glue,
each morning making me work just a bit harder
for the perfection in my oversized mug:
Like I doubt he – or anybody –
can explain to me why they sent her away,
14-year-old mother of one-year-old Sylvie
not the handsome, sweet-talking older cousin
who’d been pimping her for years.
The poet Rumi exhorts “don’t be the jar of water whose rim always stays dry.”
He wasn’t thinking of the slow upward sneak of honey.
He was thinking abundance, as in my cup runneth over!
He was thinking generosity, as in what’s mine is yours!
He wasn’t thinking they’d take his side, not hers.