Troy Alvey

Ants and Yellow Jackets

Under a canopy of maple limbs
wound together like the wicker chair
on our front porch, I look down
at the widest root flowing
from the tree’s base like a snapshot
of a flooded creek.  Currents of bark
curve like snakes, try to grow faster
and stronger in their stillness, as ants
hurry to salvage what they can
in the pause of mass destruction.
Don’t come down here,
there’s a yellow jacket nest. Dad stands
at the bottom of the driveway looking under
the lime green camper with a can of Raid
and a water hose.  I trace the root
with his walnut-handled flathead,
smack the ants with a bowed hammer,
and wait for magnificent waves to consume us.