Anne Stevenson

1933 / Cambridge,

The Miracle Of The Bees And The Foxgloves

Because hairs on their speckled daybeds baffle the little bees,
foxgloves come out to advertise for rich bumbling hummers,
who crawl into their tunnels-of-delight with drunken ease
(see Darwin's chapters on his foxglove summers)
plunging over heckles caked with sex-appealing stuff
to sip from every hooker its intoxicating liquor
and stop it propagating in a corner with itself.

And this is how the foxflower keeps its sex life in order.
Two anthers—adolescent, in a hurry to dehisce—
let fly too soon, so pollen lies in drifts around the floor.
Along swims bumbler bee and makes an undercoat of this,
reverses, exits, lets it fall by accident next door.
So ripeness climbs the bells of Digitalis, flower by flower,
undistracted by a Mind, or a Design, or by desire.
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