Frances Boyle



She bids farewell
―harsh words,
frigid expectations
that the world will usher her
to the front of the line. 

Behind it, fear
that the doors will be shut
in her face. She wants
the loftiest,
but worries
that she'll hit the meanest
depths of worthlessness. 

a world-weariness:
wanting the best
expecting the worst. 

Seeking soteria,
where she could
choose her own exit 

worlds away
from sun and earth.


Marie Antoinette in Regina SK

Latin for queen, conversations
were stilted. With her, gold lacked
a live concert. A cyclone learned
to play the harp, proved to be
an unalloyed villain. A troublesome
foe, she created the Wascana cake
affair. Walls and halls the focal point
in anglophone Canada. Buffalo bones
and a diamond flute necklace
plastered much of the town. 

Note: Poem consists of remixed phrases from the
Wikipedia entries for the two subjects in the title



wash my arms
to the elbows
in the sweet 

herb smoke 

seek absolution
in juniper
and rowan





Frances Boyle’s latest book is Openwork and Limestone, her third poetry collection. She is also the author of Seeking Shade, a short story collection, and Tower, a novella. Frances’s writing has been selected for the Best Canadian Poetry series and Poem in Your Pocket Day in Canada, among other recognitions. Recent publications include work in Paris Lit Up, Rust and Moth, JMWW, and The New Quarterly. Visit and follow @francesboyle19 on Twitter and Instagram.