Honey Thieves

Heather honey, dark and viscous,
Redolent of Surrey heaths,
Ripe for taking from the comb
By two perspiring honey thieves.

Outside, the garden honey bees,
Clustered on the window pane;
Watch us rob their golden store
And rage at labour done in vain.

A ten-year old apprentice
I’m at my father’s side
As he uncaps the waxen seals
That stem the honey tide.

I crank the spindle’s handle
And hear the honey rains
As a thousand molten droplets
Fly from the spinning frames.

I open up the sticky spigot ’
At the bottling I’m a star ’
The honey bulges from the tank,
I catch its coils in polished jars.

Smiling at the stolen essence,
My father holds it to the light,
I lick my honeyed fingers,
And share his pleasure at the sight.