A continent of ants is streaming down
the bedroom wall to the ant bait,
one hot day and they’re back.
I have this absurd optimism that
always thinks perhaps this year’s methods
are sufficient to hold them at bay.
It’s a laughable line of thought,
but I keep thinking it.
I’m such a slow learner
for someone who started
out as a precocious child.
What happens to that brightness,
that promise and potential?
Where exactly was it surrendered?
Maybe in first grade when someone
said the candy box would whistle
if you blew inside.
I don’t know if it was disbelief
or curiosity or dare that provoked me
to blow it in class,
while Miss Renfrow talked.
I was such a good girl I escaped suspicion.
It was a rare brush with trouble,
and thrilling because of that –
as well as the whistle sound it made.
Listening to the kid who sat beside me
early training for where I am today,
faith bestowed on ant bait traps.