Meredith H. Benjamin

the doctor wants to know why you’re angry.

you shrug.

the bees are dying.

and that just doesn’t seem fair.


she informs you that anger is a “secondary emotion.”

that what you really are is sad,

or guilty,

or deeply, desperately afraid.


you dismiss,

but not six months later

her diagnosis erupts at midnight

behind a locked bathroom door.

you weep,

remembering how many different ways there are for every good thing to end.

you retreat,

reluctantly back to her white coat hoping

she will possess no righteous satisfaction

from your suffering and squirms


and your paralyzing proclivities for foreverness.


so she finds you an article on the little band of scientists valiantly saving the bees.

you follow their movement with a pounding heart.

do the scientists feel that same desperate naivety?

as saving their fuzzy, anthophilic lineage

will save the ecosystem from encroaching collapse.

as if somehow just the act of trying is enough

because it means believing in the future;

means believing there will be a future for which it is worth saving anything at all.


so when you see the news out of the corner of your eye

and it’s like jump-cut flickers of the apocalypse,

how it comforting it is to imagine that when it all goes down in flames,

the legacy of the witless human race

will be a trillion echoes buzzing through the galaxy

insisting at least they saved the bees.

Meredith H. Benjamin is a second-year Political Science student at Grinnell College. She is originally from Williamstown, Massachusetts, and has spent time in Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, Georgia, and Vermont. She is passionate about grassroots politics, and spending time outdoors. She loves volleyball, curry dishes, The Ezra Klein Show, and Taylor Swift. Her work has previously appeared in Polyphony Lit and is forthcoming in the Grinnell Underground Magazine.