birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Sound That Bees Make

Like my great grandfather,
bees hum while they work.
Except for when they feel
threatened, the hum is low,
lulling, a constant gentle
waving of tiny wings. Like
me, they are content with
their shared domestic work.
When startled, their music
surges into a hurried frenzy,
the fuzzy warmth replaced by
hazard and fear. The sound
feels hot, like thick pine
sap. Once one got stuck in
my hair. Frustratedly, she
smacked the strands as hard
as she could, the ringing
in my ears a reminder that
my skin was bare beneath my
braid. Hers was a sweaty
hum, loud and frantic, and
endeavoring to get free. I
wiped my brow, stood still
as a waxen statue until she
finally flew away, her hum
now a bright yellow buzz.

Traversing the Sound