in which a beekeeper’s daughter teaches me how to be brave.

By Jillian Louie (‘20)

what can you say to the beekeeper’s daughter
that she hasn’t already screamed?

her knees painted with the grey of bruised fruit,
stockings run down from the edge of the kitchen table,
a face like dried flowers your mother keeps from easter.

reborn, anew,
torn down,
a girl of steady courses and
dipped horizons.
much too young to die,
far too old to tie her hair into pigtails and
become unforgettable again.

so i’m in love,
she cries into the clouds of wings,

there comes no response, friendly only in their
wispy bodies and
whispered hum.

a universe,
bitten lips and
ruined nails.

a bitterness that comes
with being normal.

she tells me that
there are some things
that don’t feel like anything
else.

what can you say to the beekeeper’s daughter
that she hasn’t already screamed?

Winner of the 2019 Browning Society Poetry Competition
@whosaywhatsay

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