Paeonia

Bees dance. If the sun is hot, you’ll swear they talk.

“Walk barefoot through the garden until you find her,” they say.

Paeonia. The bees have held back her stories and claimed her as one of their own. They beckon to follow beyond the fence of rose canes, thorns sharp. An ornate bird bath stands in the distance. You wonder who placed it there and the story behind it.

You follow to a clearing carpeted by moss. Beneath your feet is hidden evidence of another world- a black tunnelled darkness where drowsy beetles sleep and artifacts are buried: the torso of a child’s broken toy soldier, the bones of a bunny, lovingly set to rest in a cloth lined, cardboard box.

A completely different map. Where you stand, a river once flowed. Boulders line the now dusty bank. Ancient time seeps into your bones.

The bee’s drone reminds you: she waits, green fists tight amidst the darkest of foliage. Wild yet tame. Her head bows under the weight of a heavy crown.

Paeonia.

You sense a rustle, feel a breeze. Soft petals drop at your feet.

And suddenly, you’re in love again.

The world is a mysterious place, so much of what exists is hidden. This truth magnifies the allure. It is the dance of bees, the forgotten bird bath and mossy life. It is layer upon layer. Such is the peony seed that drops from the swallow’s beak to bury between the crack in the paver. Humble yet proud, it fights to bloom another spring.

~ Draft

Anna G. Watson

~ educator, aspiring writer, simple design and style