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An Ant in The Lion's Head

Amid calls to waitresses
of "I am willing to dote on you”
an ant braves the cluttered tabletop
in the Lion’s Head pub in the center of
my small town.
The pioneer pauses to tickle my hand,
then plunges onward in search
of hops or shepherd’s bread.
I move some crumbs
back to my empty plate,
and touch the bottom edge of my glass to his head.
He goes quiet.
He seems large, then, in the clamor.
I step into my lower level apartment
and it’s quiet, like him.
So I take off my shoes.
Without a doubt
he had an adventure,
and I had been cruel to him.

7 Feb 06

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(17 more poems by this author)

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Ants, what silly little things.
 — adiscodancer

haha, true.
 — Doulos


i just simpwee wuv chocowate cowered ants too!

don't you?

 — unknown

I do, I do.
 — Doulos

just made huge edits. It should make more sense now.
 — Doulos

Made some more huge edits.
 — Doulos

I like it.  Sad, though.
 — unknown

The title, lines 12 - 13, and the last stanza all seem to hint at something beneath the surface, and I like that in a poem. The rest of it seems merely descriptive.

I don't get lines 1 - 2... has anyone ever said "I am willing to dote on you" to a waitress? Much less have two or more people calling out the same thing to her? Has anyone ever used the word "dote" in real life? I've only read it in British novels... :-)  Maybe in common usage outside the U.S. Are you Australian?

Sigh. I know I'm too literal. If I can't suspend my disbelief, though, I have problems giving in to the artistry.

I like the ambiguity of whether the speaker merely looked down through the glass at the ant, magnifying it (line 13), or whether in the end the speaker had killed the ant (line 19). Definitely makes one wonder if someone Up There is doing the same thing to us. It might explain a lot.
 — leukothea

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