DSCF5127The air is warm as blood,
buzzing with the vibrations of mating cicadas.
A swarm of red ants scurry
over the slats of the deck chair
that has not been moved since my father last sat in it;
this is now their territory.
Whilst he slumbered
under the green canopy of the walnut tree
they crept, antennae quivering, into his world.
Soon fertile eggs clustered
in a coral of larvae under the armrests.
Workers foraged relentlessly
from the lawn to the deck chair to feed their queen,
right under my father’s oblivious arse.

Did his brain search so diligently for words
to describe the scene in front of him?
Or did he simply accept if for a seamless whole
and himself embroidered into a corner of it—all of a piece?
I brought him a cup of coffee, thinking he’d linger,
beguiled by the natural world he once loved; but no.
Maybe the ants crept up his pant leg
or the swoop of a red-bellied woodpecker
jolted him out of his being
and sent him shuffling inside for a spoon of sugar.


13 thoughts on “HERE, NOW, ALWAYS

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thanks so much, Karina. I try to express what I’m seeing, hearing, feeling, and hope that sometimes I get lucky and find a common thread that speaks to others.

      1. Murtagh's Meadow

        It’s not just luck Melissa it is a true talent to be able to capture moments of time so eloquently.

  1. Aquileana

    Excellent poem… I much enjoyed the perspectives, which I´d say are multiple here … Also the thorough descriptions regarding Nature and how it influences circumstances… Even though, I feel that the actions are in slow motion, somehow… Meaning that they happen at their own pace, so as to say… I guess this could be related to the title (“Here, now always”… i.e …a sort of eternal present, maybe?)….
    Thanks so much for sharing, dear Melissa. Love and best wishes. Aquileana ⭐


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