It doesn’t even seem possible, but on the interstate,
going south, it was August and hot, we saw monarchs,
a few of them, drafting a semi, saw it as we passed
the 18-wheeler, its mudflaps stiff and black, a blink
of orange just like that, and then we were gone.
One round trip above the continent requires several
generations. No one knows how they know the route.
Northbound, returning after leaving our daughter,
her lamp and books and keyboard, her three suitcases
and zippered plastic bag of bedclothes, we felt alone
and hardly talked. I didn’t know what you were thinking.
I was thinking that I didn’t know when we’d return.
The monarchs, I was thinking, were taking a crazy
chance, being pulled like that behind a truck going
who knows where, who knows why, carrying anything,
going anywhere, pulled like that toward home.
About the author
Athena Kildegaard's sixth book of poetry, Prairie Midden, is forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions. Her poetry has recently appeared in Prairie Schooner, december, Beloit Poetry…Read the full bio
Issue 24 · September 2021
Table of contents
- Three Poems by Dinah Ryan
- Two Poems by Daisy Bassen
- Three Poems by Carl Boon
- Two Poems by Patricia Behrens
- Upon Entering the Unknown University
- Two Poems by Christine Potter
- Earthly Possessions
- The Overflowing Suitcase on a Bus Stop Bench
- Two Poems by Nathaniel Calhoun
- Blessing of the Animals
- Why Honey Matters
- Two Poems by Rimas Uzgiris
- Missing Buses
- The Trek
- Red Coat
- Watching a Late Autumn Thunderstorm
- Two Poems by Rick Mullin
- ON O’HARA’S BIRTHDAY
- I Travel Back in Time
- Postcard Prose