Contributed by S. Korsten
Its brilliant orange fingerprint
Floating near weightlessness,
The monarch fulfills itself
Without lunch dates or workweeks.
Revelry does not greet its morning, and schedules
But the impending arctic air
Commands this regal creature to leave home
And its pointless travels are pointless no more,
As it seeks relief at the gulf.
Never complaining along its agonizing three-thousand-mile course, fed only by milkweed?
Who cheers the monarch, encouraging it
On its quest?
How is it that such a fragile being
Survives the journey
Against the elements
Of morbid weather and Cadillac grills?
Determination must reside in the tiny body
Where it's not likely to be found.
And when the monarch completes its final mile,
Does it cry the tears of painful joy
Like marathon runners at the finish line?
-- S. Korsten, 2002