A yellow veil dropped down at evening,
and when it lifted everyone was gone.
Good mothers fled their young for parts unknown—
no ‘fall dwindle’ but a stillborn spring.
Hive beetles and wax moths came not near.
Collapse, disorder, all these words were said,
while nursery rhymes and jingles went unsung.
Come witch hour, the old red telephone rang:
You had noticed that if you moved, you bled.
I was your keeper, sleeping through my watch.
Infection wraps itself around your bones
and whispers you all kinds of bad advice
about the fragile strangeness of a life.
Your body now a hive whose bees have flown.
Husband! Call them back.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Dana Goodyear, a staff writer at The New Yorker, teaches at the University of Southern California and is the author of two collections of poetry. Her nonfiction début, Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture, was published in November, 2013, by Riverhead Books.