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Religion and the Ants

We didn’t make it to any mountain’s mountaintop

but lifted ourselves on a rise of tall tall grasses,

hiding in the chafing chaff to watch

the progress of mothers and others

as they struggled up the uplands.


They had gotten word of the word coming

and, winded, they passed past us—

a valley’s volley of pilgrims,

each round racing through and through us,

we in wheat, swooning and left behind.


We could hear the claims from where we were,

their revelation piquing us from the peak:

this and this you are to say to the people:

You yourselves have seen

the whole earth is mine and only mine.


Then back down and down the sides

the people stumbled, high on heights,

ignoring still our small multitude—the fine fine print

at the bottom of the public landscape’s publication,

ants ants underfoot to them.


We tried. We tried filling our mouths

with the world’s breath—what is ours is ours.

The pilgrims: uncaring and bare and barren.

Now we wait, wait for our guarded crop to ripen;

then we will trade them, god betrayed for bread.

Posted 01/29/15
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