Poem | Point Pelee


During the Fall, monarchs
Descend upon Pelee
Like the laughter of children
Among the gardens of Eden
On a journey south to Mexico
With hundreds of miles to go
A layover stop for them—
They blow in with the wind
And drop like a quilt
Of orange and black patches
Covering the entire island to
Flutter in the weeds and trees
As if the north air were speaking—
The trick is to get in close
To one, backlit by the sun
On a leaf, to see how singular
And delicate each wing is
A skeleton in transparency
Which composes the colony—
And consider how life
Began eons ago with milkweed
Scattered across the countryside
The sky falling, and the sun
Coming down to rest on this island.

Published in the September 8, 2017 issue: 

Stephen Rybicki is a poet and academic librarian on the faculty of Macomb Community College, and the author of the reference work, Abbreviations: A Reverse Guide to Standard and Generally Accepted Abbreviated Forms. He lives in Romeo, Michigan.

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