To clover,
the red that beds the embers,
the white that spreads the ashes
of these burning hours,

when sunlight
travels through the weave
and mesh of shadows like nectar
through a sieve,

the bees,
abrim with sunny business,
return over and over
to work the flowers.

Work without hope
still works, drawing from ardor—
the burning of their wings—

and from endeavor—
the humming of their activity—
a treasure

not of honey,
to store a hive where hope
without work would die.

Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 5 Number 3, on page 49
Copyright © 2019 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com
newcriterion.com/issues/1986/11/work