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March 15, 2023


On my iPhone yesterday morning
I learned about a dwarf planet
called Quaoar,
in the Kuiper belt
beyond Neptune.
This morning I learned
how to be a confident bitch.
This is how I avoid the work
I was put on this planet
to do. Think of Hildegard
of Bingen, spending decades discovering
she was Hildegard of Bingen.
The sequoia in my neighbor’s backyard
must have been planted
by someone, must have been intended
though it’s grown so
it crowds the fence
and its scaled leaves work
under the shingles on our roof.
The coyote running across
my path in broad daylight
is both indigenous and searching,
like my daughter’s cat that creeps
upstairs at night when the dog
is asleep. Quaoar is named
for a deity of the north American
Tongva tribe. All of us
hope our wandering
will get us somewhere. I start
in the Kuiper belt
and end, like the cat,
eating food that isn’t mine.


© the author

by Bethany Reid

Bethany Reid’s most recent poetry books are Sparrow and Body My House. She lives in Edmonds, Washington, and blogs about writing and life at

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