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Fifteen [poetry]

By Jessica Ratigan

  • And the bees return
  • to flower, brimming
  • with nectar from pistil
  • snaked for the Queen’s
  • royal jelly—workers drone
  • under the unlucky heel.
  • No more sleepy snow
  • brushed across the earth.
  • The light grows warmer,
  • a breeze wakes the hem
  • of my skirt. I drink whiskey
  • from a flask among flowers
  • —crocus, lilac, tulip, rose—
  • wanting the old wounds gone.


Jessica Ratigan received her MFA from New York University’s creative writing program in 2007. Her work has appeared in The Greensboro Review, Blackbird, and Hunger Mountain. Ratigan currently lives in Hampton, Virginia, where she teaches English and creative writing at Hampton High School.

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