(13 January 1957 / Chatham, Virginia)


When Claude says blessed is he who has seen
and believes, you know he is about to tell the one
about bees. His father told him which kind

of sting was worst, but you have to see some things
for yourself, and when you ask how on earth
do you catch a bee to see anything, he tells how

you hunker down next to a sweet potato blossom
and watch until one lands on the ruffled cuff

and then ambles down into the sweeter sleeve.
You lean over and pinch the blossom shut,
and there you have it, ready to sting yourself

so you can decide on your own, and he wants
for you not to doubt this: even more blessed,
you will be, you have heard — and not seen.

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