When the Bee Stings book

5 Poems From Raquel Franco’s “When The Bee Stings” That See You in Your Hurting and Healing

Above image courtesy of Thought Catalog


Raquel Franco’s latest poetry collection, When The Bee Stings, is equal parts honey and sting. It is dripping with nostalgia, raw emotion, and wisdom gained from journeying through life’s ups and downs. Franco’s words seek to encourage and empower women, providing a thoughtful look into the many roles they play, as well as the resilient bond of sisterhood. Her poems create an uplifting environment for women to be vulnerable with one another and to face life’s battles together. 


Through thoughtful prose and vulnerable storytelling, readers get a glimpse into Franco’s past and discover some of the things that make her who she is. This provides an opportunity to find yourself in a poem, but also to learn more about the heart that penned it. The pieces allow us to feel seen in our hurt while also seeking hope together. Here are a few of my favorites from the collection. I hope they resonate with your hearts, too.



Love is staying 

between life’s punch

and life’s embrace.

Love is staying

between all the sour

and all the honey.

Love is staying.






red-stained rims from a freshly salted wound…

I see you.


I know loneliness.

I have stared up at the popcorn ceiling

in the dead of night with eyes so wilted

and my throat so torn from loss

there was no room for sleep,

I’ve begged the Lord to take the shattering,

take the scent of cologne from my pillow

(or let it stay forever),

asked why, asked when.


You are not alone

and your prayers won’t go unanswered.

The answer will be time,

gentle time.





When boys left me for dead,

hit and run on a crowded boulevard

a friend picked me up in a getaway car.


When depression made a home of my brittle body

and boarded up windows,

and anxiety put up a barbed wire fence

so my thoughts couldn’t make their way out,

a friend reminded me how the sun

is always the headliner behind the rain’s opening act.


When my mom took her place in heaven too early

and the earth no longer felt solid

a friend became a shadow to my grief

to remind me I wasn’t alone.


When the roles of a woman:










stack up like poker chips

and no one else understands

the weight of my ante, a friend

is always there to bet on me. 



Healing involves 

a guttural undoing, 

a wreckage of salted tears,

a groan from the hollow places 

beneath your bones

and the patience to

let it take its course


I’m beginning to remember myself.

The skin I’ve been dressed in,

the bones my past have built.

I’m gaining balance from

clumsily walking through winter.

The fog is clearing

and my spine is unfolding,

My spine is rising back up.


For more of Franco’s poetry, find her work in Crown Anthology, a collection by Lost Poets that showcases the extraordinary work of over one hundred poets from across the globe.