Phoning from the ant farm aisle at Spokane Pets

I'm watching them half-envious, lover.
Ants dutifully bury their dead,
grieve quickly, then return to working,
the ceremony almost too brief.
They carry on, crawl caved-in lives,
lug loads 30 times their weight
through sandy passages dreary
as Seattle winter. Sometimes
two of them meet, caress
each other in darkness,
tap out a lack of space,
make their ways past

in tunnel freshly dug,
being oh so careful
not to prolong
any touch. They hurry on,
gloomy lifers without reprieve.
Forgive such babbling,
love. I really called to say
only three more stops --
two out east, one at the mall.
Keep your candlelight soft,
the wine red and warm. We'll lie close,
kissing all night in the hall.

Timothy Pilgrim