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Song of the Radio Bees, a poem by Norbert Krapf

Song of the Radio Bees
by Norbert Krapf

Back then when Indy was a world away to the north
I was a teenager in Kentuckiana washing and waxing

cars and drinking beer with chums when the engines
sounded on the radio like wild bees in the woods

swarming nearer and nearer as a loud hum
turned deafening and they roared closer.

When I first sat in the grandstand decades
later as a man circling into his seventies

I heard a female voice say, “Ladies and gentlemen
start your engines” and those bees roared again,

louder than ever before. The low-slung cars
roared off, big bumps raised on my arms

and legs, and my lips smacked with the taste
of honey and malt as this late song brewed.

Norbert Krapf, former Indiana poet laureate, has recently published his 12th poetry collection, The Return of Sunshine, about his Colombian-German-American grandson. He is completing a collection of poems for children and a prose memoir about his writing life, Homecomings.