Colony Collapse Syndrome – Nicola Warwick

2021 Crabbe Competition – 1st Prize
Adjudicator: Anne-Marie Fyfe

After the first month, she stopped paying the bills,
wrapped herself in moth-chewed layers,
shivered in the dark.

She lost colour without heat and light.
The house opened like a cave
ready for what might come in.

Bats roosted in cornices.
Mice and silverfish scuttled over
the bare floor at night.

She netted her hair with spider silk
to keep it out of her eyes, became
a queen of wings and shadows.

At night, fox cubs played on the stairs.
Sometimes, she felt the bristles
of their young snouts.

She laid trails of sugar water to draw in
the specialists. Her house filled with bees
who droned serenades,

brought offerings sticky with nectar.
She lay on a mattress on the floor,
allowed them to worship her.

Copyright © 2021 Nicola Warwick


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