By Linn Björnsdotter

The garden after the scout meeting, a Saturday morning, 2002

Earlier, I gathered firewood
– dry sticks and tinder

/do not break branches
that are still alive/

my small hands being taught survival,
or sanctity

or both.

Now, I am at home.
I undress in the garden,
because mother tells me I reek of smoke.

The sun is clinging onto summer,
still gently warming my skin.

In the lavender flowerbeds,
I collect the bodies of bumblebees
so impossibly light
in my trembling palm.

I do not think big thoughts
of how this is a metaphor
for the work of a god
caring so tenderly
of our insignificant breaths.

I just bury the soft insects
in the soil,

and go on.

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