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The Bee Mother

Pascale Petit

I want to go back now, through the buzzing darkness.

I want to go into that humming hive awake,

wearing the net curtain you called my veil.


I want to walk down childhood’s garden

as that girl who married her mother,

through the marguerite bed


to that nest, where my bee-queen lies

deep in her brood chamber.

I want to see the honeycomb of your mind.


I want to look into your compound eyes

where I’m reflected as an angry swarm.

I want to be that daughter whose mother has stung her


because she’s a rival,

who’s still pumping venom into her.

I want to be that childless worker


who dared to sting back, shreds

of my torn abdomen hanging off you

as I leave my stinger behind.


I have cleaned the window of my self until I gleam.

I want you to see how radiant I am

on this, my wedding day.


With all the love I now know,

I want to brush the halo of your hair

that’s grown into a comet


and mend the delicate rays of your wings.

I’ll place royal jelly in your coffin for your last flight

and close the moonlit petals of your face.


From New Welsh Review No 72 (Summer 2006)