What the Ant Knew


(read by Danielle Peterson)

Every day, at a certain time
(with some variation)
when the sun was shining,
the informative sky would
darken only for a moment
                    then brighten again.

No one asked why,
(except her,
she was curious
for an ant)
her tiny brain spinning
around and around
trying to work out why
the darkness came
                    and where it went.

She would often pause
in her task, whether
it was gathering
some bit of food,
or attacking her neighbors,
or swarming en masse
some marauding beetle,
and she would consider
                    this puzzling aspect of her world.

The more she thought about it,
the less obvious it became
what could be afoot
and she realized
that perhaps she needed
                    a change in perspective.
                    So despite her wet-programming,
or perhaps because of it,
her tiny neural mass
click-clacked her to leave
                    the colony.

Up up up she climbed,
until from a high place
                    she could survey the world.

She kenned the time of day
from the polarization
of the  sun’s light,
and at the appointed time
                    she watched.

It came,
a white blur,
pulling the darkness
she had known so well,
past the place where
her colony robotted
                    so far below.

Her sight was poor
(her senses more
attuned to olfactory needs),
so she moved her head
a tiny bit and waited
for the next day
                    when it happened again.
                    And again.

                    And again.
In her tiny memory,
each day, she stored
a bit of sensation,
                    a modicum of perception.

Each day she moved
her head
ever so slightly,
seeing at different angles
the busy white blur
the dragged shadow
                    sliding with it.
                    Day by day.

Until one day she saw it
white, square and holy,
so she went home
to gather food again,
and attack her neighbors,
and swarm en masse
a wondering beetle,
and when the darkness
passed over
she knew something
                    the others did not.

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  1. […] Steven L. Peck (Pleasant Grove, UT) What the Ant Knew […]

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