Alumni News

New Yorker Features Poetry by Ribault

"Bees," a poem by Maya Ribault MFA '18, is featured in the September 3, 2018 issue of The New Yorker.


By Maya Ribault MFA '18

Open up your hives, o bees, cyphers on the fringes
of childhood, honeyed inheritance of self
among others.
My grandfather and godfather carved
their pockets of solitude
by donning white suits. Meticulous, industrious natures,
each quietly worshipped a queen,

each quietly stoked my inheritance. How could I
have known the vastness
being stored up for me, how it would remain
long after the bees had flown.
The moment I was handed the comb
dripping, the stickiness, the wax
in my teeth, the overwhelming sweetness.

It’s over now. The bees, long gone, belong
to barefoot gardens, deserted.
Summer no longer sleeps
one foot swollen in her ice bucket. Jars of
honey no longer arrive
from Lyon, broken in the mail.