Sting, Stinger, Stung

Susan Laughter Meyers

Where are you, Becky Anderson? My dead mother said you didn’t do your share,
and you know our mothers said be nice, play fair. Eighth grade, physical science,
the honeybee project. Partners. You chose me. I made the plaster-of-Paris bee
without cracking the antennae, you went off to practice leading cheers. I glued
the bee to the board, painted the bee. Labeled head, thorax, abdomen. For a real
bee Mother drove me nine miles to the nursery north of town. I pinned the real
bee to the board, careful not to break the stinger. That shiny hull, our good dead
bee, looked like a dried-up pea. Time grew short. You said we’d never win, and
you were right, rah-rah. We were lousy science students, Becky Anderson. All we
learned was here’s the bee, here are the parts of the bee. No, honey, I learned one
thing more.

Susan Laughter Meyers, of Givhans, SC, is the author of Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press), winner of the inaugural SC Poetry Book Prize, the SIBA Book Award for Poetry, and the Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her poetry has also appeared in The Southern Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and other journals, as well as Poetry Daily, and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry column. Her blog is at