An Ant (family formicidae) we’ll name Antonio
swaggers into my kitchen where he is
obviously scouting a path to the other side of the world.
Behind him come cohorts, friends, and (as I’ve just discovered)
a whole host of sterile females,
making my protagonist into Antonia
(who is still swaggering).
Our heroine sends no journals back to headquarters—
there are no wired requests for money or extra troops.
Only this line of big black ants moving into my kitchen.
My left brain swaggers like Antonia Ant,
it understands that I am bigger than the ants,
could mash them with one swipe of my meaty hand,
remembers that I’ve used bleach successfully
to get rid of them in the past, that I used to use pesticides
but now am concerned about the biosphere.
My left brain understands
that ants are on every bit of this blue world,
and that they have been here a long time.
My left brain struggles with survival of the fittest, and
occasionally wonders who will win this protracted
battle between the ants and determined housewives.
My right brain welcomes these small bits of life with excitement
and some subtle recognition that in their coming and going,
the east and west of their movement,
the touching of antennae and the determination of their march
is the determination of all life.
My right brain gets it that our communal progress
toward something—toward the light,
toward the big good thing,
toward satisfaction and standing hand in hand
‘neath a warm sky with stars wheeling overhead—
that our communal progress moves
like ants coming into a kitchen despite
the meaty hand of despair hovering just overhead.