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J. P. Smith, student of economy,
certain there was money to be made
from unsalaried labors of the bee,
set twenty hives where clover flowered.
And while the workers strove to turn
limpid nectar into amber honey
creditors wore out his phone;
his wife grew tired of matrimony.
And he, almost dying, learned
that, for him, a bee sting was a poison dart;
his wife left; the mortgage was foreclosed;
a black bear tore the hives apart.