High Dangerous

By Catherine Pierce

is what my sons call the flowers—
purple, white, electric blue—

pom-pomming bushes all along
the beach town streets.

I can’t correct them into
hydrangeas, or I won’t.

Bees ricochet in and out
of the clustered petals,

and my sons panic and dash
and I tell them about good

insects, pollination, but the truth is
I want their fear-box full of bees.

This morning the radio
said tender age shelters.

This morning the glaciers
are retreating. How long now

until the space-print backpack
becomes district-policy clear?

We’re almost to the beach,
and High dangerous! my sons

yell again, their joy in having
spotted something beautiful,

and called it what it is.