My burning bush spoke
in the hum of bees that day,
the hydrangea a commonwealth


of blooms. After a night’s rain,
cones of new flowers,
the water wells of its name,


shivered with sunlight.
The bush could have been the center
around which everything hummed,


was dependent on that hum—
the rain, the sun, the flowers,
the bees, each existing for the other,


and for me, who had been trying
for so long to transform my grief into
what was there, precisely, just then—


the raindrops tippled with light,
magnifying the spring sun,
and the branches bent with bloom,


and those hundreds and hundreds
of transubstantiating bees
that worked each white cone


of the hydrangea until I felt the bush
become a circle with many centers,
but no circumference.

Robert Cording has published ten collections of poems, the most recent of which is In the Unwalled City (Slant, 2022). A book on poetry, the Bible, and metaphor, Finding the World’s Fullness, is also out from Slant. He has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in poetry. His poems appear in two Pushcart Prize anthologies and publications such as the Georgia Review, the Southern Review, Poetry, the Hudson Review, the Kenyon Review, Image, The Common, AGNI, New Ohio Review, Orion, and The Best American Poetry 2018.