Today's poem is by Jeffrey Thomson

Amazon Parable

The bees that will strip every hair
from your head instead of swelling
your hands with a thatch of venom,

that will leave you bald and clean
and unstung, they are my subject
today. Whether this hive, cylindrical

and birchy, lie or not, the shape of threat
that hangs above the white river
south of Iquitos in the meandering fan

of the Tahuayo, whether this hive houses
such hazard can't matter. The story carries
its own weight, as does the ass that carried

Christ off the Mount of Olives,
its sweat-worked back, the rope-burn
that pinks its muzzle. It stands

beneath the awful sun as the pigeons
explode from the temple in a flaring
of white wings and slapping. But this

was never about the ass, really, or the fig tree
withered beneath the hand but the weight
the story carries—told in the boat as we

thrum upriver—the strange menace of power,
the shearing leaving you stripped
to flushed flesh beneath gaudy palms
ticking above, fanning you, blessing you.

Copyright © 2006 Jeffrey Thomson All rights reserved
from Quarterly West
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved