Thursday, October 16, 2014

Drawn to sweetness

They live in our house,
fleck-sized species of their family.
Have marched miles, as if
from San Antonio to Houston,
in dampness and crushing heat.
Through minute cracks,
they welcome themselves inside,
scale guts of walls until,
for them, nirvana.

Their barracks behind kitchen tile
and bathroom mirror,
they lap up microspecks
of apple juice and minty mouthwash.

I am a poor host,
half-heartedly remorseful.
To think, all that distance—
and then when rations are found,
wiped clean away with a corner
of moistened paper towel.

I console myself with knowing
each troop will soon enough
be replaced by another.

Ash Canyon Review, Summer 2005, vol. 1, no. 1


  1. What a treat--a free verse poem from you! Though I am such a fan of your tanka, this was a fun surprise. I love those two final stanzas. Ha! I'm not a good host either...smiles.

  2. Ha! So true. Life can be mean - even behind tiles and mirrors. Lovely to read some of your free verse, Janet.

  3. Yes, a sweet treat! Although I'm somewhat less sympathetic to ants than you are!

  4. Thanks, Jennifer, Wendy, and Jenny!
    Jenny - As I was posting this, I thought of you, imagining that surely you are more sympathetic than I am!

  5. Captivating. Been having the same problems lately. There are always more.

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog.