Five AM. Breakfast and coffee
Finished. A few more pages read.
Across the room, I see a ladybug
Hunched on my pillow. Shiny. Red. Dotted.
One wing trails from its carapace.
Ladybugs in Anchorage?
Perhaps it shipped from Outside,
Hidden in apples bought last Saturday.
Never mind. I nudge its listless form into
A small white bowl, tip it out onto the porch.
Not a favor—bird food, probably.
Better, though, to die outdoors in
Mid-September chill than languish
Lonesome, airless, in synthetic warmth.




Jill Dery has published stories in Bellingham ReviewFourteen Hills, and others; she’s published poetry in AntiphonSan Pedro River Review, Penn Review, and Broad Street, and has poems forthcoming in Tule Review. Her MFA in poetry is from UC Irvine. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she’s lived in Anchorage since 1992.