Symbiosis (One Year Later) by James K. Zimmerman

Symbiosis (One Year Later)

to myself, I thought this
could not be the same one
that lingered here a year ago

but there she was, a bee
so still on the flower’s lip
as leaves began to fall

and darkness arched
its foggy fingers
far too early in the day

it seemed to me her life
had left her there, but
when I touched her
bristled back, surprised

the little creature raised
a foreleg, antennae
quivered, too cold to fly
too slow to sting

I meant to bring her in
the house, to warm her
on the kitchen sill

but clearly she was trying
to tell me this is where
I need to be

here, enfolded in a wilting
petal, still collecting nectar
until the killing frost

and now, after five clear
days and chilly nights, once
again I come to offer solace
in my kitchen’s welcome glow

but she is nowhere to be found
and the flower droops in grief
upon its branch, reaching
for the ground below


James K. Zimmerman is an award-winning poet and Pushcart Prize nominee. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as Pleiades, Chatauqua, Miramar, American Life in Poetry, Nimrod, Vallum, Reed, The Cape Rock, and Kestrel,  among many others.  He has read his works in many venues, including Poets’ House, KGB, Cornelia St. Cafe, LIU/Post, Amherst Writers & Artists, and the Association of Writers & Publishers.  His book of poems, Little Miracles (2015) is published by Passager Books. A second book of poems, Family Cookout (2016), is the winner of the 2015 Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Award from The Comstock Review.