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Jane Muschenetz

Ukrainian-born, Russian-speaking Jew, Jane (Yevgenia!) Muschenetz was granted asylum as a refugee to the US at 10 years old. Today, she is a fully-grown MIT nerd, mother, emerging artist and writer. Jane’s first collection of poetry, “All the Bad Girls Wear Russian Accents,” is forthcoming January 2023 from Kelsay Books. A finalist in the Jacar Press 2022 Chapbook Competition, Jane’s previous work can also be found in Vol 6.1 Fall 2021 issue of Sheila-Na-Gig and at her website,


These bees in my garden are different bees.
I can tell they are different by their more frantic buzzing,
their spooking into flight – a hint of danger
a hint of sweet, of necessary work.

These bees do not tolerate my presence as a non-threat…
Perhaps, they are right?
I did call the beekeeper out the other day
to rehome the hive who swarmed in my cherry tree.
Those bees were gentle souls, and they went easily
into the kind beekeeper’s box.

How could these bees, the ones who remained, know
that box was not a coffin? I can offer
no guarantees that they would understand.
The picture on my phone of that hive living
by the sea in Pt. Loma means less than nothing to them.

They turn away from me and dive deeper
into the red/purple hearts of my gorgeously blooming poppies—
Flowers, which I myself had planted,
knowing full well, and hoping even,
that bees would come.
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