by Grace Li
Every year the ladybug migration
would pass through my father’s house
where hundreds would trap
themselves in the cozy
of our sunstreamed attic,
tucked away with the
winter coats and pressed into
pages of report cards.
Every year my father would take
from the kitchen cabinet
where he kept all the bills
and call a white man
who, every year, would leave our house
with a tarp bag full of ladybugs,
handing us a yellow
carbon copy to add to the collection.
He would let me hold the bag,
told me to give it a shake.
Don’t worry, he said. Sleeping.
I would imagine that he
took the ladybugs home with him
out of the way of anyone else’s
attics, and set them free to
continue their journey.
Grace Li is from New Jersey and lives in Brooklyn. She has a BA in English from Rutgers University and is currently an editor in NYC. She is the recipient of the 2016 Academy of American Poets College Prize, and has been published in The Anthologist and Ant vs. Whale.