Ants / Bryn Homuth

I covered nineteen
or some other number of them
when I set the first trap down—
a white-walled room with two doors,
the kind, armed with human sensibility,
you might suspect
for its likeness to an asylum
or horrific hospital

but ants, for all their fabled strength,
follow sugar’s allure with reckless abandon
and boulder-haul like hoarders
before a storm.
Few creatures look so uniform
from our vantage point, the trail
like clones off an assembly line

but were I an ant, I’m sure,
down on that microscopic plane,
I would know that that is
Bill from the mound next door,
always piloting his drone
from his back patio, or Dave
on the other side
who likes to get his mail slippered,
late in the day, as evening engulfs dusk.

Even in our suburban formicaries,
pheromone trails weave through
and out the neighborhood.
The one to Costco is particularly hard to leave alone.
It calls to me even now
as I watch, from under the trim
worker after worker, unsuspecting,
in dutiful obedience to instinct,
collect and return to the nest
poison that cripples the colony.

Ants: Copyright 2021 by Bryn Homuth. All rights reserved.

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