The Dish With Watermelon Rind

was dotted with black ants—
some plump as blackberries,
some thin as thread. They must
have a sixth sense to have known
it was there so quickly by the
kitchen sink; I hear they use
scouts like Lewis and Clark.

For 110 million years they’ve
worked together without one of
their 20,000 species waving
flags to kill. I put them all
outside where they scattered
like question marks.

Previously published in The Latham Letter.

Carol Smallwood co-edited Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching (McFarland, 2012); Women Writing on Family (Key Publishing House, 2012) and Compartments (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011). Carol’s “The Plaster Was Warm” is also in Reprint.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “The emerald green of spring grass after a long rain, that green that only comes once a year that is so emerald it hurts the eyes, evokes other springs like nothing else, leaving you suspended.”