The House of Bees

Juan J. Morales
| poetry


My father’s childhood home
was condemned a few years before.
Looking at the simple house, above us
on the slight hill, I wanted to enter, except
my tía stopped me, pointing to
the home now alive with wasps
and bees weaving, in and out,
returning it to the humid mountains.
My father told me
he used to send $35 a month to help
pay for the mortgage when he was in the Army.
What I want to do, from across the sea,
is to let the insects have this home,
safe from extinction,
and to welcome the lizards
that scamper along the walls, so my dad has
a place to return to in Lajas, inside
the house of bees, with hives humming
and built up in every corner, where ant colonies
climb from the ground,
in the shape of the ancestors
my father swore the family saw
greeting them in his childhood nights.

Juan J. Morales is the son of an Ecuadorian mother and Puerto Rican father. He is the author of three poetry collections, including The Handyman’s Guide to End Times, winner of the 2019 International Latino Book Award. He is a CantoMundo Fellow, Macondo Fellow, Editor/Publisher of Pilgrimage Press, and Professor and Department Chair of English & World Languages at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

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