TO THE TEN THOUSAND ANTS
LIVING BEHIND MY KITCHEN WALL
Inspired by Robert Burns' "To a Brown Mouse"
You see, your work ethic
means nothing to me,
the allies you accrue daily
on the way up the wall
and down again,
my early dismissal of you
not really open to debate,
triumph trumping rage
over promises made and broken
in the shady corner of the driveway
where I first noted
the belt of ingenuity that ran
from the wood pile to the house.
You may choose to regale me
with stories of blazed trails,
of the much anticipated treaties
you have yet to conclude with other colonies;
I prefer to fuss over another meal
spoiled in my half-hearted attempt
at hospitality. I too get riled
when the rains begin,
climbing out of whatever
it is that I have made a nest of.
You do your scratching
and I mine, leaving
trails in our wake
for our comrades to follow.
The world may never know
of the sacrifices that I have made for you
gang aft agley,
but you and I may yet find our footing,
the inevitable truce of the dry season
that drives us all out into the open.