(Poem) Ants by Eileen Haley

Hotel Artemis
Selçuk, Turkey
Ants smell my green plums
and come to get them
toiling along who knows how long a route
from their dark home
with its carved-out tunnels and shafts
its egg-festooned chambers and passageways
its subterranean granaries
its recycling plants where death and decay
are turned once more to life 
Crawling up through a chink in the floor
they cross the hotel corridor
on a pheromone track
climb the leg of a chair
assemble at the mouth of the bag
descend fast to the treasure within
They fill their crops
and go
a dense relentless caravan
to feed their babes and their queen
and the amazons who wage for them
their vast and ceaseless wars
against their enemy ants
to see who will rule the earth
invading conquering enslaving
resisting defending rebelling
making small gains and losing
checking and being checked
Zealous contingents go further
cross from the chair to my bed
find themselves
a veritable continent
in autumnal mode
soft steppes and clefts and mounds
nippled hills
but they do not find
the scent they seek
the rich perfume of decay
Ants belong to the goddess
I approach them on bended knee
But a meal for them I am not
not now at least
not yet
© Eileen Haley 2007
This is an excerpt from Full Circle, a poem sequence which takes a novice grandmother around the world, seeking out magic places and connections as she summons up courage for a task she must accomplish before she comes back home. 

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