Wednesday Writing – ‘Swarm’




I watch you from the door. You’re working, in your own world as usual. Your head is your hive and your thoughts buzz about inside it, creating the honeyed memories of a life you may never live. As you bend and twist, plant and weed, ignoring me while appearing not to, I feel our baby move against my bladder. I want to wrench it loose, tell it to sit still, punish it with words and fists, and it is an effort not to scream.

All of this was your idea. The move. The animals. The beehives at the end of our long garden, and the henhouse by the kitchen door. We grew the land as we grew the house, and then you made me grow a child to tie me here.

At night, I trail down to the beehives through the long grass, my bulging belly hard and hot and heavy, and I whisper to the creatures inside. I tell them to swarm, to pick up their gold and leave, to darken the sky with the humming of their wings. I tell them not to look back. Sometimes I imagine them rippling over my skin like water, dusting me pollen-yellow, grappling with my bulk until they’ve lifted me into the air and borne me away like dust on the wind.

The bees might be the only thing here that can fly, but I know how many stings it takes to kill.


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