Our Human Family
Published in

Our Human Family

“Monarch Migration” by David Cannon


Monarchs migrate there . . . but why?

This poem is a part of “Equal People,” Our Human Family’s anthology of international poetry on equality and inclusivity.

every winter
from November to March
millions of monarch butterflies
migrate to Morelia Mexico

it takes four generations of
monarchs to complete the journey
which means no butterfly ever
makes the same journey twice

I wonder why the monarchs chose Morelia
and how generations later
they know exactly where to find it
I wonder if their migration is genetic

if upon being born the first thing they feel
is the urge to fly south toward an orange forest
if their bodies are wired to leave
before they know why

when they cluster like fire around the trees in Morelia
people welcome their arrival as a blessing
if their flight is a miracle
I wonder how many die of thirst after the journey

if no one collects the bodies do they grow into the trees?
I wonder if the forests in Morelia
are one big graveyard and if the monarchs
just migrate to their dead

the interesting thing about Morelia Mexico is that
it was named after José María Morelos
a priest who was born in this land when
it still had its Spanish name of Valladolid

he’s the man who led the Mexican Revolution
after the execution of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
in 1815 Morelos was captured
tried and sentenced to death by the Catholic church

before he was executed they
defrocked him as a cleric
to avoid a public reaction they
executed him almost 200 miles from his home

he was last seen walking to the firing squad
I wonder what he became after
he was no longer a man

I wonder if he asked God for
if upon dying he became the first
butterfly fleeing back home

About the Poet
Jorge Quintana is a California-based creative. His work reflects his identity, sexuality, and spirituality as it aligns with the energy of this world. Working through psychedelic surrealism, Jorge’s work is imbued with a love taught by his ancestors and spirit guides. He hosts The Spirits in Poetry on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Buzzsprout. Find him on Instagram @jorgequintanapoetry, or at jorgequintanapoetry.com.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jorge Q

Jorge Q

Psychedelic surrealist love poet and actor from Sacramento, CA. Host of the podcast The Spirits in Poetry. read more at jorgequintanpoetry.com