Last year I smiled at the honeybees
as they went about their work,
all buzz and hover
along a wall of sweetness.

This year I stare at lonely blossoms
on a silent sun strewn wall
and try to convince myself
that they will come back.


Blaise Kielar received Honorable Mention in the 2022 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize for an excerpt from his memoir in progress, "Be Heard: The Quiet Kid Who Started the World’s Loudest Violin Shop." He opened Chapel Hill’s first violin shop in 1978 and retired from a music retail career by transitioning Electric Violin Shop into the first worker-owned co-op music store in the United States. He plays jazz violin and clarinet in several bands and leads the Bulltown Strutters, Durham’s community New Orleans brass band.