In fifth grade Crybaby and Almost-
Boobs hoarded curios in a Kleenex
box: hunks of rock shaped like
pizza slices, gel pens’ worn-out
tips. Crud. That summer behind
the dugout they found the body:
like seppuku, the bumblebee had
stung itself dead. So Crybaby
and Almost-Boobs became funeral
directors. From their Kleenex box
they got a monogrammed hankie
for its shroud, its coffin a torn-up
tarot box from Almost-Boobs’ Wiccan
babysitter. Crybaby held in her aquifer
of tears even though it almost geysered
(like when she forgot her lunch, or
fell down). But what would a bee need
to pack like a sack lunch, for whatever
might be coming after? Crybaby gave
it flowers: a broken dollar-store lei,
daisy stickers, a stemless silk rose.
For a marker, Crybaby and Almost-
Boobs suckled pink Popsicles, made
a cross with the sticks. That Fall
Almost-Boobs became Boobs. She
began to date Boyfriend 1, quit their
Kleenex box full of tinsel and crud.
Crybaby cried. The bumblebees flew.
—Sadie McCarney, Live Ones, University of Regina Press, 2019.
Deirdre Kessler selects a poem a month by an Island poet for The Buzz.