Monarchs
are the color of Halloween—they should be in Texas, not in Canadian cold and dead leaves. By November they should be in Mexico—flying over the wall.

          Two years ago
I wrote a poem about the monarchs, how they were reappearing—I wrote it from the psych ward in Nanaimo, BC. It was a metaphor for hope in a place that had little. We ate plastic scrambled eggs for breakfast and played Bingo. It was Spring, but it’s always Spring in psych wards. I had no socks until somebody gave me some—black and warm like redemption.

           Monarchs
are back in the news, this time because the new warmth has created more later in the season—who’ve not flown south soon enough and will probably freeze. They’re running out of time, the article says, but ends with, ‘Not all is lost.’

          Meaning
you’ll be able to feel the hunger dig into your gut like a knife carving a pumpkin into a happy face. Meaning this is the good news. Meaning you better save the bad for a hospital blanket and a meal listed like a poem— looks better than it tastes.

          Nevertheless,
the monarchs are back, and are still here—for now—carving their way into our broken psyches, ever reminding us that the biggest loss is the tinge of knowing what’s to come. And the price of pumpkin spice lattes has tripled, but you don’t have to suffer through it alone—there’s always

Oprah.