Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Ants

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Dear reader, in case the common black ant has seemed too ordinary for your attention, consider today?s poem by Lynn Ascrizzi of Freedom, who shows us ants as we have never seen them before.

Ants by Lynn Ascrizzi

This morning, after last night?s
thunderstorms and torrents of rain,
I watch black ants hurry along
damp boards, on the open porch.
I love their hasty, stop-and-go
movements, how they hug and kiss
each other, antennae
to antennae, as they meet.
I used to think it served biology only?
this habit of touching feelers?
just a simple relay of tribal codes,
a way to broadcast top headlines
of Colony News, with up-to-the-minute
stories of "fatals" on thorny stems,
obits on moles and grasshoppers,
toad alerts and forecasts of frost.
But now, I see their mutual affection,
the joy in each wired greeting,
how each belongs to each
and to the whole, how communicating
is part of love?how love
loves to communicate.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 Lynn Ascrizzi. Reprinted from Puckerbrush Review, Puckerbrush Press, by permission of Lynn Ascrizzi. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.