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.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS
WITH A HOLLOW HEART,
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,
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.
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.