Mama Wouldn’t Listen, So I Told The Bees by Angela Readman

My mother wouldn’t listen, so I told the bees,
lips an inch away from a hum, buds, stinging
to be kissed into bloom. I didn’t sort cans
for the poor. Everything I wanted to ask
Mama stacked into crates labelled in red pen.
I told the bees about my friend on the swing,
skirt lifting air. I was lost as a bee in a rose,
aching to crawl in, live on her perfume
of petals and dirt. The soft bash over my heart
was an insect of urge wanting in. There are places
for everything, a honeycomb under our ribs
stores people in small boxes like trinkets.
The walls dissolved, I felt a girl smash her cell
and climb into the box called Love. I ran
from a cut on her finger begging to be sucked,
leapt into the arms of boys with split lips, needing
an imperfection to kiss. On his pick-up, I stared
my underwear slipped aside like a bandage.
I grabbed the splint in his jeans, any jeans, to fix
a broken bone.  I tell the bees I’m a whore
who looked at the stars over a shoulder, sticky,
between my legs an apiary after the queen has flown.

Angela Readman's poems have been published in journals including The Rialto, Ambit, Magma, and Popshot. They have won The Mslexia Competition, The Charles Causley, and The Essex Poetry Prize. She also writes stories, her collection Don't Try This at Home won a saboteur award, and The Rubery Book Award in 2015.

Angela Readman’s poems have been published in journals including The Rialto, Ambit, Magma, and Popshot. They have won The Mslexia Competition, The Charles Causley, and The Essex Poetry Prize. She also writes stories, her collection Don’t Try This at Home won a saboteur award, and The Rubery Book Award in 2015.

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