From milkweed to lupine a woman shadows
a monarch. Slowly makes her way, conveys
her weight with care. And in the womb her son
flutters, then butterfly-kicks against walls.
The woman tracks a trail of burnished wings,
migrating into the heart-notch of forest,
then settles on a lichened tree-trunk where
underground rivers flowing out of snow-
mountain lakes rumble the decree of her
unborn son: "Journey farther, journey deeper."
Into darker woods she transports a monarch
ruling, even now, unnamed territory.
This poem originally ran in the April 7, 2003, issue of the magazine.