Selective focus photo of a monarch butterfly perched on a yellow flower

One evening
the low slant of sunlight
struck a small beech shimmering orange
with thousands of monarchs huddled together
at the edge of a small opening in the canopy
of my grandpa’s woods.

A stunned witness, I returned again and again,
year upon year to find only leaves,

their migration moved on
through the next day’s maze of milkweed,
each year’s journey a variation
of hope.

And somewhere, every evening,
settling down in their bouquet for the night.



Poem by Steve Crowley

Steve Crowley recently returned to Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. If you haven’t visited yet, do so.