Poetry November 2007

October Crossing

The woolly bears go cross the road,
their backs of orange and black a sign
of winter’s length and strength to come.
They inch across the lanes in fur
fit for a monarch, fox, or star,
as crows descend and yellow leaves
fly out against the twilight breeze.
However accurate the widths
of colors on their prophet backs,
or knowledge of their fate as moths,
they seem intent on crossing this
hard Styx or Jordan to the ditch,
oblivious to the tires’ high pitch.

Presented by

Robert Morgan’s recent books include Boone: A Biography (2007) and The Strange Attractor: New and Selected Poems (2004). He teaches at Cornell University.

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In