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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Fade Out

By: Gretchen Gales

Humans grow gray, ladybugs orange.

One takes its last flight around my night side

table lamp, cracked window pane wings

retract inside its once fiery, blaring light

now dim, spotted, fading bulb shell.

Light pops of arthritic knuckles and knees

crawl until they retract on permanent pause.


Gretchen once wanted to be a veterinarian, Shania Twain, and a writer all at once. She has since settled down with writing a variety of content, both nonfiction and fiction. She is currently the Executive Editor of Quail Bell Magazine. Gretchen's written work has appeared in Ms., The Establishment, Bustle, and more.See more of her work at

"'Fade Out' was inspired by a ladybug I found crawling on my bedside table lamp. It was an older ladybug that was clearly making its final journey. I loved the juxtaposition of the dull shell with the brightness of the lamp, almost like its shell was a fading light itself. This poem is part of a larger project of mine that explores mortality."


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