The Caterpillar Queen

THIS WAY TO THE ACORNS: "The Caterpillar Queen"
“The Caterpillar Queen” in American Sign Language

Her fuzzy hump, stringed like lapis lazuli eyes, smoothed from her face as she arched upwards the branch.
When she paused, I blew some breaths at her face. Her small incisors stopped in mid-air but then, she continued her slinkiness.
Her black legs were velvet slippers.
(After all, the tree was still young:
She’d made a list in her mind which leaves she’d consume gracefully.
Oh, she couldn’t wait for the day when she got fat off those boys, hiding then in her own cocoon,
and fling off that ugly outfit days later.
Yes, she’d live grandly with her wings!)
Up near where she’d stopped, there were many leaves chewed to the bone. They shook nakedly, already forsaken in her presence.
I shook her branch.
She held on, her thin slippers now tenacious. Her body flat against bark, she glared patiently at my hands. I bent the branch down, and let go.
She shot into the sky, where she’d thought she’d soon fly.
She writhed on her back in the grass, her slippers dripping with venom.
With a leaf from the tree, I covered her
before I squashed her with my foot.
Her lovesworn boys wept.

This Way to the Acorns: Poems (The Tenth Anniversary Edition)

As a boy growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Raymond Luczak delighted in the mysterious attractions of nature in a huge expanse of abandoned woods and fields known as “across the street.” In This Way to the Acorns, he remembers encountering unexpected guests of the woods: a scraggly fox, a starving doe, an industrious chipmunk,…

This Way to the Acorns: Poems (The Tenth Anniversary Edition) →

The watercolor painting shows a barren tree with almost a woman's figure against a white background. On the top and bottom is a green criss-cross woven pattern. On the left side of the bottom is a circle showing the text in purple THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION. On the right side of the bottom is a tall purple rectangle showing the text in white: This Way to the Acorns | poems | Raymond Luczak.

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