Today's poem is by Natasha Trethewey


Today the ants are busy
          beside my front steps, weaving
in and out of the hill they're building.
          I watch them emerge and—

like everything I've forgotten—disappear
          into the subterranean, a world
made by displacement. In the cemetery
          last June, I circled, lost—

weeds and grass grow up all around—
          the landscape blurred and waving.
At my mother's grave, ants streamed in
          and out like arteries, a tiny hill rising

above her untended plot. Bit by bit,
          red dirt piled up, spread
like a rash on the grass; I watched a long time
          the ants' determined work,

how they brought up soil
          of which she will be part,
and placed it before me. Believe me when I say
          I've tried not to begrudge them

their industry, this reminder of what
          I haven't done. Even now,
the mound is a blister on my heart,
          a red and humming swarm.

Copyright © 2005 Natasha Trethewey All rights reserved
from The Greensboro Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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