Mum would put a bit by every week:
the life insurance, the Christmas Club,
and, for my sake, the encyclopaedias,
ten volumes bound in faux-red leather.
Volume 5: the Natural World – Insects.
Acetate sheets took me further, further
as I turned them, turned into the structure
of a bee revealing its essential trinity.
The colours brimmed, the words raptured.
Some I knew: antennae, sting, and abdomen,
but others were new: thorax and glossa –
the ganglia of nerves that stood in for a brain.
I should have stayed at this wonder
but I impressed myself alone with detail;
knowledge of the polysyllabic intricate
provides a species of adolescent mastery,
but not being with. Now, I can anatomise,
delineate the power structures of the hive,
but my daughter, wiggling, feels like them,
thanks them, one-by-one, for their honey.