By Allana Stuart


exuvia breaks at 
the edge of 40
shell splits to reveal
a tender unfurling
iridescent wings
once dry in the sun
shimmer with shifting colours
and in flight
everything old
new again 


my words used to fly like bees
floating on a summer wind
until they holed up and hid  
just like the rogue colony that
built a hive in our porch roof
one July

in the heat the walls dripped with  
sweet syrup
but my mouth stayed 
sealed shut
sticky with silence
like I had honey
smeared across my lips

after I licked them clean
my thoughts took flight again
like the bees 
after the keeper came

but it was me that reached in  
pulled them free 
hands dripping words
like fists full of


writhing and sinuous
she sheds 
inhibition like a skin
the past slips free
as silk 
slides to the floor 
puddles at her feet

she rises up from the
basket of her bed
sways under her own spell 
moves to her own music
marks this moment as

an arrival
an arousal
an awakening.

Allana Stuart was once an award-winning CBC Radio journalist, and is now a wrangler of children and a writer of poetry and fiction. She is also the producer of the podcast Rx Advocacy. A child of the boreal forest, Allana was born and raised in northwestern Ontario, spent several years in Northern BC, and currently calls Ottawa home. Lately, she spends most of her free time roller-skating in her basement. She can be found on Instagram and (sporadically) on Twitter.

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