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Quiet Rituals
from Gifts of Unknown Gods
"Throughout the long black night they danced."
by PC Kennedy

I miss the ants,
the tiny ants
who lived within
my kitchen walls;
as coffee grounds
spilled on the sideboard.

In truth, I swept a few away
until I saw they lived and breathed,
amazed they kept themselves
so clean
with spit-baths like a cat.

Their ways endeared;
did not encroach, did not
invade, just one on guard
all day
to wait like an honest dog,
I said, for me.

One winter morning,
early, dark,
I found a faithful flock
in frenzied dance
around a long-lit burning wick,
a pious act for novena wax.
I think their vigil went
all night.
They disappeared right after this.
I miss those ants.


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