A Sunday Poem: “The Ant”

 

On the way to work,

an ant with a broken leg.

 

Limping. Vigorously.

 

Drawing a circle in the

sandy pavement.

 

Antennae slapping in the air.

 

I debate whether to end her suffering.

 

Or let the pain run.

Sun will desiccate the

fragile body.

A bird might come.

A predatory bug.

 

I remember a cross-section under the microscope.

Hundreds of lenses in the compound eye.

Thousands of sensors.

A pinhead-sized brain, more complex than

anything man-made.

 

100 million years of evolution.

 

A life that cannot originate in the lab.

The three-thousand-year-old debate on

body and spirit.

 

The possibility of an act from above.

 

End of day.

Walking back to my car.

 

On the way, the ant,

slowly drawing her circle.

 

Antennae softly in the air.

A goodbye to a faraway colony.

 

I debate whether to step on her.

 

(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)

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