Karen Greenbaum-Maya



French bees are dying, she tells me. Not because of big Agro pushing its products, threatening finance interruptus, the short-term win killing the long-term love. The bees are dying because the Chinese have planted killer bees that lay their eggs in the French bees. Like mantises they behead, like termites they eat wood, like wasps they colonize from within the good-hearted worker bee herself.

Oh, these Chinese bees. They’re aggressive as South American bees and twice the size. Easily they kill the French bees. A single smear of their honey leaves you brain-dead but unable to stop consuming Chinese imports. There you go, buying twice what you need. There are bees flying all over the blossoming trees, cherry and quince, even willows and camellias, but she knows the bees are dying, just going through the motions.

She can tell the Chinese ladybugs from the French. The vulgar Chinese are gaudy with too many dots. The French ladybugs are subtly accented with two, at most four, asymmetrical for interest. Chinese ladybugs adapt quickly. They do not care about tradition. They undersell the French ladybugs and take over their turf. You’d think there would be enough for all, aphids being what they are, but no. Oh no.


KAREN GREENBAUM-MAYA is a retired clinical psychologist, German major, and two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Her first full sentence was: “Look at the moon!” Her collections include Burrowing Song, Eggs Satori, and Kafka’s Cat, and, The Book of Knots and their Untying.


Read more by Karen Greenbaum-Maya:

Author’s Website
Poem in Goreyesque
Three poems in Otoliths
Poem in the June 2018 issue of B O D Y
Two poems in the September 2017 issue of B O D Y
Two poems in the October 2013 issue of B O D Y
Two poems in the September 2012 issue of B O D Y